Mike Bass was given a tremendous reception when he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Racing Association’s Cape Racing and Breeding Awards dinner at the Lanzerac Hotel in Stellenbosch on Monday evening.
It was at this function 12 months ago that the now-legendary trainer felt the beginnings of the freak illness that nearly cost him his life and led to the loss of part of his right leg as well as bringing forward his retirement.
His Marinaresco, winner of the Champions Cup and second in the Durban July, took the three-year-old colt award (despite being a gelding!) and his Cape Fillies Guineas winner Silver Mountain dead-heated with Bela-Bela for the fillies equivalent while stable jockey Grant van Niekerk was presented with the Jockey of the Year Award.
John Slade, for many years manager of Maine Chance Farms and now breeding on his own account in the Karoo, was given the Special Service Industry Award while the Mauritzfontein-bred Smart Call was named Horse of the Year.