Inglis Graduate Grabs Maiden Gr1 Victory

Gr1 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm

Suman Hedge and Sheriff Iskander celebrated their first Gr1 success in their own right on Saturday when tenacious filly Socks Nation outstayed Our Gold Hope in an Inglis graduates quinella in the Gr1 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm.

Bloodstock agent Hedge and owner Iskander were both involved in the ownership of multiple Gr1 winner Zoustar but Saturday’s success was their first at the top level since running their own individual racing businesses.

Socks Nation is a fascinating filly – the Ciaron Maher-trained 3YO has raced 12 times and never had a spell, enjoying Gr1 success in what is her first preparation

Socks Nation is a fascinating filly – the Ciaron Maher-trained 3YO has raced 12 times and never had a spell, enjoying Gr1 success in what is her first preparation (Pic – Inglis)

“It’s very special for me because Sheriff is the owner and he’s supported me and backed me in from the very start and gave me my first opportunity and I wouldn’t be in the industry if it wasn’t for him,’’ a delighted Hedge said after the Oaks.

“It’s his first Gr1 in his own right and my first since I’ve been out on my own. Since starting Suman Hedge Bloodstock we’ve had four seconds in Gr1 races and I thought today was going to be number five but we got the result and it’s amazing.’’

Hedge recalled buying the filly for $160,000 at the Premier Yearling Sale from the Milburn Creek draft at Oaklands due to one major reason.

“Scott Holcombe at Milburn Creek strongly recommended her to me, he said ‘don’t second guess yourself on this filly, just buy the horse’,’’ Hedge said.

“With that in mind, plus my own thoughts and knowing she was coming from such a good farm, we had the confidence to have a crack.

“She had tremendous athleticism, her action was such that she was very efficient with her movement. We weren’t overly familiar with the sire at that time but she was out of a nicely bred mare and was a great type so we were happy to buy her and boy am I glad we did now!

“I really love Inglis Premier, it’s such a pure sale, there is always every type of horse there, from a top level sprinter to a Gr1 middle distance horse or a great filly like Socks Nation who wins you a Gr1 at 2200m as a 3YO.’’

Bred by Ian Millard, Socks Nation becomes the 99th individual Gr1-winning Inglis graduate since 2018.

Earlier on the Eagle Farm program there was another Stakes quinella of Inglis graduates when Ostraka (Pariah) defeated Inhibitions in the Listed Queensland Day Stakes.

The lightly raced Ostraka has proven a model of consistency, finishing in the trifecta at five of his past six starts.

The 3YO is an A$150,000 Easter Yearling Sale buy for his trainer Annabel Neasham as well as Mitchell Bloodstock, Brian McGuire and Stallion Match from the draft of his breeder, Arrowfield.



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