Canberra Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker is aiming to carry his on-field dominance in the NRL across to the track in the $110,000 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup on Saturday night.
He is a part-owner of cup runner Our Triple Play – trained and driven by his close mate Brad Hewitt, who like Croker hails from Goulburn in NSW.
Croker is an all-time great at the Raiders – having scored the most tries and points in Canberra’s history, and is set to this year to rise into second spot for most games played.
In the same way he would like to add the ultimate of a premiership to his NRL achievements, the 28-year-old has a burning desire to taste group 1 success and is hoping Our Triple Play can deliver at Bray Raceway.
He is making the trip to Ballarat to be on track if the 5yo does land the money.
It is six years since Croker became involved in harness racing as an owner, with Im Jay Tee ensuring he became hooked by winning 11 races.
“It was great fun and we’ve just kept it rolling from there.”
Croker said ownership had become a real family affair with his father and father-in-law also getting involved.
Raiders teammate Sam Williams is also in Our Triple Play.
He said it was good interest outside the rigours of the NRL.
Croker said with Goulburn not a long drive from Canberra, he made the trip to his hometown as often as possible to see Hewitt – taking the opportunity to get take the reins on the training track whenever possible.
“It’s a real thrill. It gets the blood pumping.”
Croker said he was keen to help attract younger people to the sport and was working with the Goulburn club in promoting this aspect.