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Rock Diva Wins Gr1 Auckland Cup
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, Westbury Park stallion Lucky Unicorn (Redoute's Choice La Bamba, by Last Tycoon) celebrated a Gr1 success when 4YO mare Rock Diva (Lucky Unicorn-Bohemian Blues, by Blues Traveller) scored 0.75-length for trainer Tony Pike in the NZ$500,000 Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m) for 3YO+, over 5YO gelding King Kamada (Shinko King-Marsanne, by General Nediym) & fellow 4YO mare Pondarosa Miss (High Chaparral-Bak Da Princess, by Danske). This was Rock Diva's maiden Gr1 victory and boosted her record to 2 wins (including the Gr3 Sunline Vase) and 6 placings (including the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks) for NZ$432,673 earnings. Rock Diva, a half-sister to Australian Guineas & Australian Derby winner Shamrocker, was a $200,000 purchase at the 2012 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Valachi Downs. Trainer Tony Pike said the Raffles Farm-owned mare would now head to the paddock to prepare for the Melbourne Cup in the spring. "It's a great buzz to win this race – my parents won it in 1981 (with Drum) and I vaguely remember that," Pike told NZ Racing Desk. "I'm rapt for the mare, rapt for the owners and all the staff at home." He added, "She's due a spell now and then we'll look at all our spring options – the Melbourne Cup is one of those."