Before Crystal Palace face Burnley at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Saturday, James Tomkins will know if his horse wins the Saudi Cup card in Riyadh
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James Tomkins has completed the warm-up and he is ready to begin.
His horse ‘Jamie Vardy’ which Rohaan has a target of £1.1m in Riyadh to aim for.
Like Leicester ace, the sprinter rose right up the ranks – and this was his first major international.
More than 3,000 miles from the Welsh stables, Rohaan competed in Sprint 3 1351 Turf Saturday (1.25pm).
Part owner Tomkins, 32, watched his final workout at Lingfield before departure.
“It was a friendly and now his first big game of the season,” he said.
“He blew the cobweb and went out there in a great way.”
A mainstay in the top tier of football, centre-back Tomkins never thought he would reach the top with his hobby.
That was until Chris Kiely, son of Palace goalkeeping coach Dean, nominated Rohaan.
Just days after their transfer was secured in May, the horse claimed a £51,000 first prize at Haydock.
Then he showed up at the Wembley of racing, Royal Ascot – and made £64,000 in Wokingham.
Tomkins, introduced to the sport by his grandfather, had always loved the way Rohaan raced.
He told Sky Sports that gelding’s “unbelievable” progress is the same as that of Vardy – from no-league to Premier League champion.
Tomkins said: “Rohaan won from the start and I was impressed.
“I was very nervous before he ran, but at the same time very excited.
“On Saturday, we (the Palace) have Burnley at home. They will want to earn points at this stage of the season.
“Hopefully we’ll win – two wins will be nice!”
Kiely was particularly intrigued by Rohaan’s big race bid – with top equestrian Ryan Moore as captain.
“The horse is in top condition and this has been the plan for the past six months,” he said.
“We believe he has Group 1 in him this season. This is a big pot and he has a big chance.”
Tomkins, from Essex, grew up racing in Newmarket, a passion for sports he shares with his brother Luke.
Was the man of the match at Wembley for West Hamhe has played at Old Trafford, Anfield and more.
Accustomed to facing some of the best strikers in the country, Tomkins now has to change tactics – sit back and enjoy the ‘winning moment’.
“I have no control over the course of the game, so it’s a little bit different from football,” he said.
“You never know what will happen in a race. There aren’t many better runners than Ryan Moore.
“Hopefully Rohaan will work it out for him and they can eliminate their opponents one by one.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/crystal-palace-star-james-tomkins-26330195 Crystal Palace star James Tomkins could win £1.1m race with horse 'Jamie Vardy'