Kevin Babington and Shorapur win $200,000 Californian Grand Prix

  • 14 November 2016, 10:18

Tipperary’s Kevin Babington rounded-off his two week stint at the HITS National Sunshine Series in Thermal, California, USA, with victory in the four-star $200,000 Grand Prix riding Shorapur.

Kevin Babington and Shorapur (Photo ESI Photography)

Kevin Babington and Shorapur (Photo ESI Photography)

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.

Carrick On Suir-born Babington, who has been based in America for most of his career, was making his first visit to the HITS show at Thermal and he 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.”

Babington’s win in the Thermal Grand Prix netting him $66,000 and came aboard Shorapur, an 11-year-old mare owned by 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.

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