(CNN) -- 28-1 outsider Pomodoro sprang a surprise to land the Durban July, South Africa's most prestigious race, beating Smanjemanja by a nose to land the R1 710 000 first prize.
Despite starting from the unfavorable number 20 position, Pomodoro enjoyed a clear run under jockey Piere Strydom, whose victory at Greyville Racecourse marked his third in this race.
It was a first win for trainer Sean Tarry, who, in recent years, has risen to become one of his country's leading trainers having started his working life running a juice bar.
He told reporters: "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."
The 18-10 favourite Jackson failed to live up to his billing, fading badly in the home straight to finish fourth from last.
A capacity crowd of 55,000 people were in attendance for one of the continent's biggest sporting and social gatherings.