The Summerhill Stud-bred Admire Main gelding The Elmo Effect shed his recently acquired bridesmaid tag and played a starring role in a thrilling four-cornered finish to the R150 000 Listed Java Handicap at Turffontein on Saturday.
The Pick 6 opener looked a lucky dip with fourteen evenly matched stayers going the 2450m, but in the end it didn’t produce too many surprises with Craig Zackey outgunning his more experienced colleague Muzi Yeni in a drive to the wire.
Piere Strydom had Kingmambo’s Legacy dictating matters for much of the trip but the pair looked to be under siege at the 400m as the omnipresent The Elmo Effect and the good-looking Kinaan moved up simultaneously down the centre.
With Callan Murray hard at work down the rail on Smart Mart, and Muzi Yeni getting the well-backed Odd Robb into his stride, the race was anyone’s for the taking at the 200m.
As the 33-10 favourite Kinaan faded out, it was left to the never-say-die 8-1 shot The Elmo Effect to stay on resiliently under the pleasingly in-form Craig Zackey, as Yeni threw the kitchen sink at Odd Robb.
Turning his hat-trick of seconds into a welcome R93 750 first cheque, the Gary Alexander-trained gelding proved his superior fitness by outlasting Odd Robb to win by 0,25 lengths in a time of 155,72 secs.
The Odd Robb supporters (he was backed from 14’s to 8’s), will have to come back another day.
Kingmambo’s Legacy finished a half length further back – a great run after being in the mix all the way.
Mike de Kock also saddled the fourth-placed Smart Mart.
Bred by Summerhill Stud, The Elmo Effect is a son of Admire Main out of the one-time winning Northern Guest mare, Dream Star.
The Elmo Effect was a R225 000 2013 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale graduate.
The 5yo gelding took his earnings to R385 275 and posted his fourth win from 25 starts with 10 places.
Interestingly, he won his maiden on debut over 1400m at 40-1.
Racing was delayed after this race due to the presence of lightning above Turffontein.