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LEGENDARY trainer Mike Bass has announced his retirement at the end of the 2015/16 season and will be handing over the reins of his Milnerton stable to daughter Candice Robinson.

Bass has been a staunch supporter of racing in KwaZulu-Natal and in honour of his service to racing in the province Gold Circle has renamed the Champions Cup in his honour. Run on Super Saturday, the last Saturday of the season, the Champions Cup will know be known as the Gr1 Mike and Carol Bass Champions Cup.

Gold Circle Marketing Executive Graeme Hawkins said that Bass had been a stalwart supporter of racing in KwaZulu-Natal from many years.

“Mike has had a difficult time with his health over the past year but has been a staunch supporter of KwaZulu-Natal racing for over 40 years. We wish him well in his retirement and it is fitting that he has a race named in his honour along with his wife Carol.”

Meanwhile Bass’ Inara made a lucrative raid on the Highveld to snare the R625,000 winner’s cheque in the R1-million L Jaffee Empress Club Stakes (Grade 1) over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday – securing her fourth Gr1 success.

As the only Grade 1-winning filly in the line-up, Inara– prepared for the Mike Bass yard at Summerveld by assistant Robert Fayd’Herbe – went off 11-10 favourite

Jockey Grant Van Niekerk said afterwards: “She’s an amazing filly. I’ve always like her, since Day 1. Not many horses go on like this. But whenever she runs, she just surprises me. She won’t stop here. There’s still more to come from her.”

Bass, making a rare appearance on a Highveld racecourse, said: “She’s a pleasure to train, has always been. She does it all for you. We sent her up to Durban a month ago with this race in mind. (At Summerveld) we’re halfway up altitude-wise, which makes it a little bit easier.

“It’s always difficult to (perform well coming) from Cape Town to here, although you can do up to a ‘mile’. But that’s a long trek. The trip from Maritzburg is not so bad and the horse is semi-acclimatised already and that does make a difference.”

Photo: Mike Bass and Candice Robinson. (Summerhill Stud).