Serenity Grove (Ocovango) Impresses At Downpatrick

Son Of In Form Ocovango Bolts Up In Maiden Hurdle

Serenity Grove (5g Ocovango - Dakota Fire, by Beneficial) could hardly have been more impressive on his rules debut when running out a wide margin winner of Friday’s maiden hurdle at Downpatrick.

Darragh O’Keeffe rode the Henry De Bromhead-trained bay to chase the leaders for much of the race and was travelling well when asserting before two out. Clear at the final flight, he was eased down close home to win by all of 15 lengths.

Speaking after the race, the winning rider said, “He had a good run in a point-to-point when he fell at the last. He showed that day that he had some bit of ability. He travelled away and jumped great there today. Hopefully he can step forward from today.”

Bred by PG McGillion, the son of Beeches Stud sire Ocovango is the first foal out of Dakota Fire.

The following day, One Last Tango (4g Ocovango - Slogan, by Kris Kin) became his sire’s second winner in as many days when gaining a deserved in the bumper at Navan.

Runner-up on his previous two starts, Eoin Griffin’s representative dropped back to two miles at the weekend and was held up behind the leaders by Harry Swan. Travelling with ease approaching three furlongs out, he led a furlong later and kept on well under pressure to prevail by a nose on the line.

“You don't always get what you deserve but he deserved that,” Griffin later commented. “He'll be a nice horse for next summer in all those festival meetings.”

Owned by Elaine O’Donovan, One Last Tango becomes the first winner bred by Mr B Gahan out of Slogan.