Jarrod Croker will have one eye on his NRL final and one eye on the weekend races.
Jarrod Croker will have one eye on his NRL final and one eye on the weekend races.

Track and field: Raiders star seeks double bliss

Canberra skipper Jarrod Croker is chasing a winning double that will reap huge financial rewards for himself and his club in just 18 hours.

A win for Croker and his Raiders teammates in the preliminary final against Melbourne on Friday night is expected to be worth around $600,000 to Canberra through increased sponsorship, membership and merchandise from grand final week.

Watch the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals on Kayo. Every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Jarrod Croker’s weekend of competition won’t be over on Friday night. Picture: Getty Images
Jarrod Croker’s weekend of competition won’t be over on Friday night. Picture: Getty Images

And the following afternoon, Croker will watch the horse he part-owns, Goulburn galloper Intuition, push for victory in one of Australia's richest races, the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko at Randwick.

The prizemoney for winning The Kosciuszko is $600,000, and Croker, his dad and his dad's friend have a 20 per cent share in Intuition.

Which means Croker's footy club and his race syndicate stand to be $1.2m better off between them if both are successful.

Intuition is paying $26 to win The Kosciuszko with the TAB, which will be run just before The Everest.

The Raiders will fly in and out of Brisbane for the Storm match, arriving back in Canberra during the early hours of Saturday.

Restricted by the NRL COVID bubble, Croker cannot be at Randwick for the race but will instead watch it from his "man cave" at his home in Canberra.

Jarrod Croker’s dad Greg with the Canberra's captain's horse Intuition. Picture: Supplied
Jarrod Croker’s dad Greg with the Canberra's captain's horse Intuition. Picture: Supplied

"I will be sitting at home with the feet up watching the big race on Saturday. I can't go anywhere else," Croker said.

"I have a nice man cave down stairs, a bar and pool table, so I will set it up like I'm at the track and cheer him on.

"My old man, Greg, will go to Randwick. He has a share in the horse as well. Myself, dad and dad's best mate, Steve Jones, have 20 per cent - about 6.6 per cent each.

"Every owner going there thinks they are a chance and I'm no different. But I genuinely think he is a chance. Just look at his form.

"Intuition is an ex-Godolphin horse who has won at Group 3 and Listed level. His form stacks up and he's at a very juicy price.

"It's a very tough race and there are a lot of good horses in it. Our horse has had 30 starts in good company for a couple of years now and he's in good condition.

"He worked in a trial last week and ran third by 2.9 to three lengths to Gytrash. That's pretty impressive. Maybe I'm looking into too much or I'm just too excited by talking up my own horse, but I'm quietly confident."

The silks the jockey will wear on Saturday while riding Intuition.
The silks the jockey will wear on Saturday while riding Intuition.

Intuition, which has already won around $500,000, will wear custom-made Raiders silks.

"Intuition is a proven stakes performer, set specifically for this race, and with even luck he can be in the finish," Daily Telegraph racing editor Ray Thomas said.

The night before, Canberra will start as underdogs against Melbourne but they will have grown in confidence following their gritty win over the Sydney Roosters in last Friday's elimination semi-final.

"We will fly straight home after the game and hopefully start preparing for another game the week after. That's the grand plan and so far, so good," Croker said.

"For the last decade, Melbourne has been the benchmark, along with the Roosters. It's big test again but to be the best you have to beat the best.

"We can take plenty of confidence out of beating the Roosters. If we can knock Melbourne after beating the Roosters, we'll be very confident.

"It will be a big challenge but the boys are all in. I know Penrith have been flying - they have had a great year - but consistently-wise, it's been the Storm and the Roosters for a long time."

Croker plans to donate anything he wins with Intuition to the Ricky Stuart Foundation.


CRIME WRAP: Multiple traffic incidents end with big fines

Premium Content CRIME WRAP: Multiple traffic incidents end with big fines

From rescue helicopters to unpaid registrations, this is everything Blackbutt...

Alleged drunk man tows car on D’Aguilar Highway, flips it

Premium Content Alleged drunk man tows car on D’Aguilar Highway, flips it

A man has had to have reconstructive surgery following a very unusual traffic...

Detectives bust Murgon man after alleged stealing spree

Premium Content Detectives bust Murgon man after alleged stealing spree

A Murgon man has been remanded in custody, to appear in Murgon Magistrates Court...