Pomodoro (red cap): noses ahead of Smanjemanje in the Durban JulyPICTURE: Nkosi Hlophe
Pomodoro springs 28-1 shock in Durban July
Report: South Africa, Saturday
Greyville: Vodacom Durban July (Grade 1 hcap) 1m 3f, turf, 3yo+
POMODORO (Sean Tarry/Piere Strydom) sprang a 28-1 surprise when holding on by the skin of his teeth from 55-1 shot Smanjemanje in South Africa's biggest race at Greyville on Saturday.
Strydom made light of the winner's supposedly impossible outside draw and soon had him on the heels of the leaders.
He took it up a furlong and a half out but Smanjemanje, who was unlucky because he didn't get a completely clear run, came at him in the last 50 yards and was gaining ground all the way to the line.
Strydom, 46, was winning his third July and was in tears after weighing in by the winner's enclosure.
He said: "This is unbelievable and I am very emotional. I was a little bit wide early on and I had to keep working to get him in but, when I asked him at the top of the straight, he gave it to me straightaway. He kept giving it to me right to the line but I was very worried when Smanjemanje came at me."
Tarry, who started his working life running a fruit juice bar, has become one of the country's leading trainers.
He said: "The July was a gaping hole in my CV so I was delighted to win. I thought Piere got into a phenomenal position from that draw and he is a master of pace so I thought he had it sewn up when he led on the run-in. Then Smanjemanje appeared to give me a real fright.
"Pomodoro has had a tough season and he had a hard race when he dead-heated for the South African Derby. I freshened him for this and now he deserves a really good break. I won't be in a hurry to take him to Cape Town for the J & B Met with a Grade 1 penalty."
The result was a triumph for the handicapper with less than a length and a half covering the first six but Jeff Lloyd's Durban July hoodoo continues. He was a length back third on Chesalon.
The 18-10 favourite Jackson was a bitter disappointment. He rocketed out of the stalls straight into a perfect position but went backwards in the straight and finished with only three behind him.
Jockey Karis Teetan said: "When I asked him for an effort his usual kick just wasn't there. Indeed by the turn-in he was finished. It was very disappointing."
Also on Saturday
Greyville: Durban Golden Slipper (Grade 1) 7f, turf, 2yo, fillies
RUMYA (Mike de Kock/Anthony Delpech) gave the champion trainer his fourth Golden Slipper in ten years when delivered with a strong late run and De Kock said: "She will spend most of her three-year-old career in South Africa and then head for an international campaign."
Greyville: Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Horseshoe (Grade 1) 7f, turf, 2yo
WAR HORSE (Corne Spies/Jeff Lloyd) scored comfortably and Spies said: "He will get even better when he goes further. His next race is the Premier's Champion Stakes here on July 28 and he will probably go for the Durban July next year."
Greyville: Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes (Grade 1) 1m,turf, 3yo, fillies and mares
THIS season's Cape Fillies Guineas winner Princess Victoria (Glen Kotzen/Anton Marcus) just got the better of a showdown with the previous season's Cape Fillies Guineas winner Ebony Flyer and Kotzen said: "It’s probably an overseas campaign for her now."