Philippe Coutinho’s horse set to debut in Naas race on Sunday

Philippe Coutinho in action for Aston Villa (Image: (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images))

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Premier League star Philippe Coutinho has an even busier sporting weekend than normal ahead of him.

The Barcelona man, currently on-loan under former teammate Steven Gerrard at Villa, is a part owner of Olivia Maralda who is set to make her racing bow in Naas on Sunday.

She will run in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Fillies’ Sprint Stakes as preparation for a possible tilt at Royal Ascot in June.

Trained by Michael O’Callaghan, the two-year-old filly is valued at €450,000.

During the week, O'Callaghan talked up her chances of fairing well at the Kildare racecourse.

He said: “She cost plenty of money but I think she’s a decent filly. The soccer player, Philippe Coutinho, owns half of her. They’re trying to get the registration sorted in time so his name appears on the racecard.

“We’ll see how she works during the week but I wouldn’t be concerned about pitching her in at Group Three level on debut.

“I think she’s going to end up at that level on her second start anyway, so I wouldn’t be worried at all. If everything goes to plan, we would be looking at bringing her to Royal Ascot for the Albany."

She races for AMO Racing, which were founded by football super-agent Kia Joorabchian, who counts the Brazilian playmaker among his clients.

But Coutinho does at lease have some interest in the sport having been spotted attending day one of the Cheltenham Festival with Villa teammates Tyrone Mings, Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Martinez in March.

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