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 star 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.