Rock N Joy wins first-up in NSW

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Rock N Joy relished the sprint trip, first-up, in New South Wales, at Narrabri on Monday.

The Mark Jones and Aaron Goadsby-trained mare, backed into $2.90 favouritism late, had a good run through from three on the second row for driver Guy Chappie, quickly finding a one -out and one-back trail.

Rock N Joy, a first-up winner after returning to New South Wales on Monday.

Left in the open a lap and a half out, Chappie made a spirited play for the lead, crossing second favourite Aunty Bessy beginning the final lap.

Aunty Bessy was out and challenging again before the home straight, with the two favourites having the finish to themselves.

Rock N Joy kept kicking to hold by 1.4 metres in a 1:57.9 mile rate for the 1760m.

Bred in Australia, Rock N Joy, from a strong-winning NZ filly family, was purchased as a yearling for the Mark Jones stable by Starmark Ltd and Grant Hatton.

The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven won two of 22 NZ starts (Gore and Westport) but had settled for four placings in NZ since December 30, including a second to Dreamy Damien at Addington on April 12.

She’s the first foal from Joyfuljoy (1:51.6, US), who won the 2009 Harness Jewels 3YO Diamond at Ashburton in a then NZ 3YO fillies record of 1:54.4 for the Mark Purdon and Grant Payne stable.

Joyfuljoy racked up 11 NZ wins including the 2009 NZ Sires Stakes 3YO Fillies Final and ran second to Lauraella in the 2009 Great Northern Oaks.

Joyfuljoy (Mach Three-Joyfulbelle, 1:56.3) furthered the second half of her career in North America with six additional US wins, taking her earnings to $480,442.

Her younger half-sister Bettor Joy, a winner of $308,000 in Australasia for the Cran Dalgety stable, ran second to North American stablemate Shartin N in the big $US402,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker Final at Yonkers last Sunday (NZ time).

Jumpforjoy (1:55.8, seven wins including the 2011 Southland Oaks), a Bettor’s Delight sister to Bettor Joy, has left another smart filly/mare in Somejoy (1:53.2), who won eight of 20 starts for the Clark Barron stable.

Also on the Narrabri progamme, lightly-raced stablemate A Gift From Heaven (3g Rock N Roll Heaven-Shes Ezy) suffered his first defeat in three starts.

A Gift Of Heaven, from three on the second row, led the chase behind front-running $1.10 favourite Uncle Jord, who won easily by 17.4 metres in a 1:59.7 rate for the 2160m.