Ciaron Maher claims maiden Queensland Oaks with Socks Nation

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and have combined with Socks Nation to cause a massive boilover in the Oaks at Eagle Farm on Saturday afternoon.

Although Maher only had the one runner in the feature race, the daughter of Sioux Nation got under the guard of most, as she was sent around as +12500 outsider with online bookmakers.

With most of her rivals running in the key lead-up races and before Saturday's Oaks, Maher took his filly through a 3YO Open Handicap at in April before racing in a Benchmark 72 at on May 25 in readiness for the 2200m contest.

Oceans Of Energy (+25000) speared out of the gates and ran straight to the lead to set up a strong tempo ahead of the eventual winner who settled behind and received an economical run in transit a length away.

The race favourites were scattered throughout the field, with Mare Of Mt Buller (+400) in fifth, while (+550) and (+360) settled towards the rear.

However, as Oceans Of Energy and Socks Nation turned into the home straight, they had well and cleared out from the rest of the field and by the 200m mark, Maloney had a good break at the front.

Our Gold Hope (+1700) let down with her finish and looked as though she would run straight past Socks Nation, but the filly found again and held on to win by a long neck on the line, with Miss Jolene (+1800) replicating her Roses run as she finished off strongly to nab third.

Ciaron Maher was on course to speak about the win of Socks Nation post-race.

“It's phenomenal, the team has done a super job,” Maher said.

“She's been in work 13 months, this filly, and she just keeps on running really well.

“I didn't tie Ryan down too much with instructions, he's pretty casual at the best of times.

“I was surprised she was that far forward in the run, but it worked out perfectly.

“She goes to a lot of locations, she's been to the beach and sometimes a change is as good as a holiday.

“She's a tough, Kiwi bred filly and they do it time and time again in these races.

“She worked well in the week so we didn't have to do much with her.”

Ryan Maloney was ecstatic with the win and he spoke glowingly of Maher, who has supported him throughout his career.

“The race couldn't have panned out any better for me. I was surprised nobody came to put any pressure on us,” Maloney said.

“I knew she'd stay and you just can't rule out any of Ciaron's horses, even though she was a big price.

“He can do it all and it's great to win my fourth Group 1, especially for Ciaron as he used to put me on his horses when I'd just come out of my time as an apprentice.

“You can't knock her form down south, it was a great training effort. We got all the breaks and she just outstayed them in the end.”

“I was confident at the 600 metre mark, when I pressed the we put a bit of a margin on them.

“I didn't want them to outsprint me so I went a bit earlier than I would've done usually.

“When Craig came up to me, I thought we might be passed but she was so tough.”

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