Armidale Jockey Club names Newmarket Handicap in honour of David Dye

ARMIDALE Jockey Club has named one of its feature races on its biggest day of the year after one of the club’s most beloved figures.

The club will stage its Armidale Cup meeting next Monday and have named the Newmarket Handicap, the club’s Cup day open sprint, in honour of the late David Dye.

David, better known by his nickname D Dye, passed away April 13 last year at the age of 62.

He had spent many years as a committeeman, giving untold number of hours, help and work for the club in his vast voluntary fashion.

His funeral at the Piddington Funeral Chapel was one of the biggest seen in years with many racing people travelling long distances to commemorate his life.

Naming the Newmarket in D Dye’s honour is a respectful regard, reported club secretary Jim Dedes.

It will be known as the Debortoli Wines David Dye Memorial Newmarket (1100m).

“We’ve named it in honour of the big fella,” Dedes said.

“He was one of our greatest supporters and helped out around here doing anything and everything.

He was one of our greatest supporters and helped out around here doing anything and everything.

Jim Dedes

“We all miss him a great deal.

“He was great for racing.”

Cup time was special for D Dye too after he and a syndicate that also included AJC and HNWRA president Rod Watt won the 1993 Armidale Cup with Parademansia, a horse named after a black snake which had the scientific name Parademansia.

Dye was at work when he received a telephone call advising him the newest and unnamed horse in the late Keith Swan’s Somerton stable had arrived.

He was supposedly looking at the scientific name for black snake (Parademansia) at the time at work where he was employed by The University of New England in their biology lab.

He used to procure all species of flora and fauna for lecturers and professors to use in their lectures and assignments.

He worked there for 40 years.

D Dye was also a long time supporter of the Armidale Rugby League Football Club and a life member of the Hillgrove Cricket Club, captained the tiny town’s 11 to a premiership and was also revered as the king of Hillgrove.

A noted bird enthusiast his many aviaries were built at his Hillgrove home.

But his biggest love was racing.

He worked as a bookmakers clerk for many years and had a number of horses, not least Parademansia, who gave him his biggest racing thrill, but also the likes of Our Coquette and Real Silence, the latter winning a Kirby Handicap at Grafton during the annual July Carnival.

That too was a sprint race, making the Newmarket an apt race for which to honour David James Dye.

This week the Armidale Cup drew 22 nominations with 13 for the Newmarket and 14 for the Thunderbolt 2YO. Overall the AJC finished with 129 for the meeting.

A Cup Calcutta will be held at the Armidale Jockey Club on Sunday evening.