Carrick-on-Suir's Kevin Babington and Shorapur at the Californian Grand Prix.
It was Babington’s third and biggest win at Thermal in the past fortnight, adding to his victory with Double O Seven in the Welcome Stakes on the opening week, and another top placing in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix with Shorapur.
Babington, who has been based in America for most of his career, was making his first visit to the HITS show at Thermal and was very impressed with the facilities on offer.
“I came out to the old facility for the winter circuit in ’95. But as my first time in Thermal, I was very impressed. The weather is beautiful – there’s really not much you couldn’t like about it here. It’s great out here. I’ll be coming out for a few weeks, and I’d like to show in the Million [AIG $1 Million Grand Prix at Thermal in March 2017]. I’m a little tied up with some things on the East Coast, but I would love to come back for the entire [Coachella] Winter Circuit if I could,” he said.
Babington’s win in the Thermal Grand Prix netted him $66,000. Shorapur, an 11-year-old mare, is owned by Shorapur LLC who are based in Kentucky, USA. Egypt’s Nayel Nassar finished as runner-up with Lordan, while Mexican rider Enrique Gonzalez took the third spot on the podium with Chacna.