35 Years On – Mike And The Mountain

Fourth Cape Fillies Guineas winner for Bass

It has been 35 years since Mike Bass saddled his first Cape Fillies Guineas winner when the outstanding Sweet Chestnut bolted home under jockey Gavin Howes for owner Georgina Rogers.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge in the ensuing years and Bass saddled Sport’s Chestnut in 2001 and the international performer Sun Classique to win in 2005.

Silver Mountain wins Cape Fillies Guineas

Aldo Domeyer and Silver Mountain cruise in to win the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas (Pic- Wayne Marks)

2015 has been a trying year for the well-known Cape racing family and another victory in the Gr1 classic could not have come at a better time – with their Silvano filly Silver Mountain further entrenching her status as one of the best 3yo fillies in the country.

She simply swept aside her opposition to saunter to victory in the R1 million Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth on Saturday.

This prestigious classic is a natural barometer of the best of any generation and the race’s honour roll over the past 45 years boasts some of the greatest fairer sex gallopers to grace our turf.

The manner of Silver Mountain’s victory on Saturday suggests that she has plenty to come yet and her likely clash with the dual Gr1 winning male Seventh Plain in the CTS Million Dollar in January will give the groundbreaking dollar dream race, added impetus – not that it needs much hype at current rates of exchange.

Mike Bass saddles Jet Air

Mike Bass – icon of Cape racing

After her facile victory from a wide draw in the Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship early in November, Silver Mountain has stepped into the spotlight and has become the talking horse of Cape racing – and did her burgeoning reputation proud on Saturday.

After the outsider Ocean’s Swell had set the gallop into the straight, Aldo Domeyer angled Silver Mountain to the middle of the track at the 400m marker and she simply lengthened to draw clear of her field.

Silver Mountain ran right away to beat the Glen Kotzen trained Our Destiny by 5 lengths in a time of 98,72 secs.

Winning jockey Aldo Domeyer was at a loss for words and said that he had not been sleeping well in the build-up.

“Big horses are big pressure. And today they wouldn’t allow us in so it was tougher. But she settles like a professional and when I asked her she gave it to me. She has a superb turn of foot and is really something special. I must thank the whole team – their hard work makes the difference,” he said.

The winner’s stablemate Taffety Tart also reproduced her customary late dash finish again to grab a deserved third.

Paddy Kruyer’s smart Biarritz filly Anglet showed her appreciation for the summer course and stayed on all the way up the straight to run a decent fourth.

Justin Snaith’s previously unbeaten filly Bela-Bela was some way back early after a tardy jump and was then obstructed by the fallen rider. She ran an ordinary race to stay on for fifth and 6,20 lengths back.

She shaded Mike De Kock’s Gauteng raider Noor – also unbeaten in her first two – who also failed to fire on her Cape debut.

It was an eventful race all round, judging by the Stipes Report:

  1. ANGLET (R Danielson) cast the left fore shoe on the way to the start, which the farrier replaced causing a delay.
  2. A TIME TO DREAM (A Marcus) and MISS MARKER (C Orffer) were fractious in the stalls, were unloaded, examined by the Veterinary Surgeon, declared fit and were reloaded. Trainers S J Snaith and M W Bass will be advised that these fillies starting stall certificates have been withdrawn in terms of Rule 61.6.10.

In view of the performance from MISS MARKER (C Orffer) (17.40 lengths), the Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine the filly on her return to the unsaddling enclosure and submit a report.

b) Jockey S Cormack (WELL IN FLIGHT) reported that the felt something amiss with this filly in running. The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine the filly on her return to the unsaddling enclosure and submit a report.

c) Jockey K de Melo (FLYING ICE) ) reported that the felt something amiss with this filly in running. The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine the filly on her return to the unsaddling enclosure and submit a report.

d) In a tightly bunched field, approaching the 1000m, VALEDICTION (G Wright) was forced to ease off the heels of TAFFETY TART (G van Niekerk), rolled outwards and clipped the heels of SILVER MOUNTAIN (A Domeyer), dislodging Jockey G Wright. ANGLET (R Danielson) and BELA-BELA (P Strydom), which were following, were forced to ease to avoid the fallen rider. After reviewing the patrol films from the various angles this was deemed to be a racing incident and no individual rider could be held responsible.

e) The saddle on A TIME TO DREAM (A Marcus) slipped back in running and as a result Jockey Marcus could not fully assist the filly.

f) TAFFETY TART (G van Niekerk) was hanging out from the 400m.

g) OCEAN’S SWELL (C Puller) was hanging out throughout, raced wide on the bend and into the straight, and was difficult to assist. The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine the filly on her return to the unsaddling enclosure and submit a report.

h) OUR DESTINY (G Cheyne) shifted both ways away from the crop from the 300m.

i) SILVER MOUNTAIN (A Domeyer), the winner, was selected for the taking of specimens for analysis. Assistant Trainer R Fayd’Herbe, acting on behalf of Trainer M W Bass, was advised. (SN)

j) OUR DESTINY (G Cheyne), the second placed horse, was selected for the taking of specimens for analysis. Trainer G S Kotzen was advised. (TN)

It was a forgettable race for jockey Gareth Wright, whose mount Valediction clipped heels and unseated him at around the 1000m marker. Wright came off unscathed and managed to fulfill his engagements.

There was to be little luck for Valediction’s owner Hassen Adams – his other runner Ocean’s Swell set the pace but compounded to finish a distant last.



A daughter of Silvano, Silver Mountain is out of the six-time winning Fusaichi Pegasus mare, Our Table Mountain, the winner of the 2007 Listed Olympic Duel Stakes and a half-sister to the consistent sire Artie Schiller (El Prado {Ire}).

The progeny of Our Table Mountain have attracted plenty of interest in the sales ring – and on the training tracks, where they have shown temperament issues – but Silver Mountain has shown nothing of that trait.

The Highlands bred filly was purchased by Maine Chance Farms for R1,3 million at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 1.

She has now won 4 from 5 with 1 place and took her stakes earnings to R880 500.

Which, with her whole career ahead of her, is starting to make her look a great buy at the price – despite the owner’s Racing Manager Justin Vermaak reminding us that she wasn’t a cheapie.

Roll on January 2016!


Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas  (SAf-Gr1)

Kenilworth, South Africa, December 5, R1 million, 1600m, turf, good, 1.38.72

1 – SILVER MOUNTAIN (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Silvano (GER) – Our Table Mountain (USA) by Fusaichi Pegasus (USA). Owner Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Dr W A & Mrs N Jacobs); Breeder Highlands; trainer MW Bass; jockey A Domeyer
2 – Our Destiny (SAF), 60.0, ch f 3, Var (USA) – Plumosa (SAF) by Sapieha (IRE)
3 – Taffety Tart (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Trippi (USA) – Rock Candy (ARG) by Candy Stripes (USA)
Margins: 5.00, 0.50, 0.30


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