Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

No touchdown for Wes Welker's Undrafted

July 12, 2014 -- Updated 1941 GMT (0341 HKT)
Denver Broncos star Wes Welker laughs alongside jockey Frankie Detorri at Newmarket.
Denver Broncos star Wes Welker laughs alongside jockey Frankie Detorri at Newmarket.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Wes Welker jets into UK to watch racehorse perform
  • Undrafted finishes fourth in Group One Darley July Cup
  • Four-year gelding won the $300,000 Jaipur at Belmont Park in June.

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- The NFL may take over Wembley Stadium -- England's spiritual home of soccer -- every September and October but it was a racecourse that played host to one of gridiron's biggest star's Saturday as Denver Broncos Wes Welker flew in to cheer on his racehorse.

A veteran of three Super Bowls, the 33-year-old wide receiver broke off from pre-season training to attend the Group One Darley July Cup at Newmarket -- an hour east of London -- even taking up bookmaker Paddy Power on a £5,000 ($8,560) Twitter charity bet.

But there was to be no touchdown for Welker on English soil as his 25-1 shot -- named Undrafted -- ridden by jockey Frankie Dettori, finished fourth behind the winner and favorite Slade Power.

Welker chose the horse's name after he missed out on the draft upon completing college.

While horse racing and soccer have enjoyed a close relationship in some countries -- England internationals Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney have snapped up their own racehorses -- the bonds are less common in U.S. sport.

Welker caught the racing bug through a family friend, taking a small stake in two horses in 2011 and when the opportunity arose he snapped up Undrafted.

"I really enjoy the racing and training aspect because they are very similar to football players," Welker told Britain's Guardian newspaper Friday.

"They have short careers, and injuries play a huge part, so how you train them and get them ready is very similar to how we train and get ready.

"It's kind of cool to see the similarities between the two athletes."

The four-year old gelding is highly regarded as a fine sprinter and won the $300,000 Jaipur at Belmont Park in June.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Each August, over a thousand tents and hundreds of horses converge on Little Big Horn River in Montana for the Crow Fair and Rodeo.
August 1, 2014 -- Updated 0957 GMT (1757 HKT)
Show me the money! Hollywood star Tom Cruise was a big hit when he visited the Glorious Goodwood festival.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1241 GMT (2041 HKT)
Little-known outside the tribes of the Rocky Mountains in the American northwest, Indian Relay is a "magical" horse-racing relay.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 1325 GMT (2125 HKT)
Now in his 50s, one of the world's most successful jockeys explains why he gave up acting to return to the sport that nearly crippled him.
Winning Post's Francesca Cumani is impressed by the all-round multitasking skills of Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien.
June 7, 2014 -- Updated 0853 GMT (1653 HKT)
 An infrared camera was used to create this image.) A horse and exercise rider head to the main track for morning training at Belmont Park on June 4, 2014 in Elmont, New York.
More people have walked on the moon than have won the fabled Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing. California Chrome is seeking to square that score.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1137 GMT (1937 HKT)
A long history of controversy made him the "enfant terrible" of horse racing, but veteran jockey Kieren Fallon is looking for redemption.
May 27, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
Joel Rosario on Animal Kingdom competes to win the $10 million Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race, at Meydan race track in Dubai on March 30, 2013. The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner (11/2), trained by American Graham Motion and ridden by Rosario, beat home English raider Red Cadeaux by two lengths while another English-trained runner Planteur was third.
With owners ranging from presidents to sheikhs and queens, horse racing is known as the "Sport of Kings" for good reason.
May 12, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
Buy for the right price and you could make millions. Get it wrong and it could be one of the most expensive mistakes you ever make.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1207 GMT (2007 HKT)
Mine That Bird, the 2009 winner of the Kentucky Derby, is having his incredible story told on the silver screen.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1035 GMT (1835 HKT)
Amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen is perhaps best known for helping to resurrect Prince William's relationship with Kate Middleton.
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Meydan Entrance
The $10 million Dubai World Cup takes place at the Meydan Racecourse, which is a suitable setting for the world's richest horse racing day.
ADVERTISEMENT