Inara Gives Mike A Gr1 Cheer

Set for stud - what a broodmare she will make!


The high-class Trippi filly Inara gave trainer Mike Bass a welcome Gr1 farewell on the veteran trainer’s final July day at Greyville on Saturday, when she stormed clear to eclipse the R1 million Garden Province Stakes.


Grant Van Niekerk has Inara galloping powerfully to notch another Gr1 score

On a day of mixed fortunes and a July near-miss with their 3yo Marinaresco being produced from a hopeless position, Inara’s fifth Gr1 win under the lights would have restored some balance for the Bass team – even though she will be lost to racing and is likely to join the paddock princesses at Drakenstein soon.


Old and the new – Mike and daughter Candice

There is plenty of speculation as to the Bass’ changing of the guard at the end of this season when the 40 year doyen hands over the reins to his assistant daughter Candice.

Journalist Andrew Bon suggested in an on-course interview with Mike on July day that it was really going to just be a different name in a racecard. But ‘new’ brooms have their own personalities and ambitions and always sweep clean – and Candice will no doubt be cracking the whip.

We wish her well – those are massive shoes to fill.

The Bass’ had three runners in the prestigious mile feature, a race only won by high class females and it was their 3yo Cape Fillies Guineas winner Silver Mountain who started 18-10 favourite after her cracking good recent effort behind Alexis in the Gr2 Tibouchina Stakes.

But Inara was back to her best and turned the tables on her stablemate, who disappointed finishing 7th, albeit only 2,60 lengths off.

After Brandon Lerena played catch-me-if-you-can on Bichette, which ensured a true-run race, Intergalactic flattered briefly in the home straight, before Inara hit the front at the 200m and drew away.

Grant Van Niekerk

Grant Van Niekerk

Grant Van Niekerk, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Thursday 30 June, rode the first Gr1 of his career on Inara, and has a special affinity with the star. But he may have caught the Stipe’s attention when he saluted a stride before the line and did not appear to see Piere Strydom breathing down his neck on Olma.

But all’s well that ends well and Inara cracked it to win by a half length in a time of 95,56 secs.

Bichette ran a gallant third after doing the hard yards and stayed on to beat her stablemate Intergalactic.

Bred by Drakenstein Stud, who also race the daughter of Trippi, Inara is out of the well advanced in age Shirley Heights mare Mountains Of Mist.

In 2004, Drakenstein privately purchased the then Irish-based 12-year-old, and some time later well-known breeder Chryss O’Reilly told new owner Gaynor Rupert that she had owned the mare and had struggled to get her in foal.

Mountains Of Mist remained in Ireland but after having failed to conceive to Coolmore stallion Montjeu two years running, she was sent to South Africa in the hope that some sun on her back would bring her back into production.

Tracing to the outstanding taproot mare Ole Liz, she is out of Seattle Slew mare Magic Of Life, who captured the Gr1 Coronation Stakes and produced Gr2 Lowther Stakes victress Enthused (Seeking The Gold) and French stakes winner From Beyond (Kris).

Inara has now won 8 races with 8 places from her 20 starts for total stakes of R3 923 125.


Gr1 Garden Province Stakes  (SAf-Gr1)

Greyville, South Africa, July 2, R1 million, 1600m, turf, good, 1.35.56

1 – INARA (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Trippi (USA) – Mountains Of Mist (IRE) by Shirley Heights (GB). Owner Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert); Breeder Drakenstein Stud; trainer MW Bass; jockey G v Niekerk
2 – Olma (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Theas Dance (GB) by Danzig (USA)
3 – Bichette (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Western Winter (USA) – Bardot (SAF) by Badger Land (USA)
Margins: 0.50, 1.00, 0.05

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