Rock Diva digs tough to record maiden win for the Yesbergs

Until very recently John and Robert had never trained for the Yesberg family. However, 10 days ago two of their horses in Rock Diva and Returntorocknroll joined the stable ranks. Returntorocknroll was a nice second in the non tote race at Addington on Friday, while today Rock Diva, previously a 19 start maiden finally delivered an overdue win at today's Timaru meet for owners Trent and Wendy Yesberg.

Trained for the three starts of her three year old season by Trent, the then filly ran a nice second in the second of these. She was then transferred to the Woodend stable of Greg and Nina Hope where she did a good job, running five seconds in her 15 starts and always looking like a mare that would go on with it a bit. While her form had been a bit off the last couple of starts, it was a third placing three starts ago at Nelson behind stablemate Bite The Bullet that was perhaps the best indicator of her chances today.

After drawing the second line today, Rock Diva was well back early when the field settled into order.  Some moves in the running saw her relegated to last spot from the 1400m. She was still in last spot at the 600m as John launched her on her run and improved quickly, three and four wide around the field. In under 200m, she was up disputing the pace with leader Nakayla Franco and quickly headed that runner as the field turned for home. While Nakayla Franco showed great fight briefly digging in for a share of the lead again at the 100m, Rock Diva was not to be denied and under strong urgings from John kicked too well in the drive for the line winning by a head, with a neck back to Martin John, close up in third place.

Part owner Trent who is at a wedding in Melbourne today was understandably stoked with the win.

"Yea, well god knows we've been trying for a while!"

Trent was also quick to heap a lot of praise John's way in terms of his handling of the two horses since he has taken them over.

"We couldn't be happier with the job John has done with the two. Its a real testament to his professionalism."

Rock Diva quit the maiden ranks today, digging deep after doing plenty of work in the last 600m

Today's win was John's 66th in the cart for the season and he sits a comfortable second in the premiership, well adrift of Dexter who appears in a race of his own. The win also took the stable total to 60 and means that they again share the lead in the trainers premiership with the Purdon/Rasmussen stable.

Earlier in the day, Playboy ran a top race for second on debut after doing plenty wrong in the running.

Posted: Sun 14 Feb 2016

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