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Dave The King (Picture: Wayne Marks)

A former Greyville chief handler, Dave Goudie, will have his ashes spread over the hallowed Hollywoodbets Greyville turf shortly before the start of the Hollywoodbets Durban July and it is thus fitting that a runner in the big race is called Dave The King.

“The Pedigree Obsessor” sent in this tribute to his good friend Dave Goudie.

It adds yet another angle to a historical horse race which in every renewal never fails to attract a myriad of fascinating stories.

The Pedigree Obsessor   

Odds Of DAVE THE KING May Be Shortening With A Spiritual Advantage ….

This industry, like life itself, offers many anecdotes, memories and stories that cumulatively enrich and reflect on the human endeavour. Often these experiences bring a value that cannot be quantified in material terms.   

This is one of those real life experiences that just might translate somewhat into a quantifiable value for one of the 1st timers in the 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July.   

Many readers will not know the central character here nor be overly interested in the facts around him, but that is irrelevant and are only shared to give brief context. What matters is the message it carries and that this character was one of us who loves/loved horseracing and the horse.  

He was very close friends with the late trainer Des Rich who took the beautifully bred LIGHTNING SHOT (Clouds by Photogenic) to victory in the 1977 Durban July. So close were they that Des gifted our chief character and his wife with a nicely bred but unable to race pitch black colt half-brother of LIGHTNING SHOT named CHARACTER. They treasured him like a “son” until he died on their smallholding in the western suburb hills of Durban. 

DAVID ROBERT GOUDIE was a simple, unpretentious, salt-of-the-earth man born and raised as tough as they come. He could and would stand his ground against any other regardless of their assumed societal rank if he believed he was justified in doing so and they were wrong. He “skrikked for niks” and he wore his heart on his sleeve. He tolerated no B-S that confronted him and many a hapless offender would know exactly where they stood with him in no uncertain terms. If DRG liked you and there was a mutual respect, he would defend you with all his worth. But if you crossed him you best “pasop” and stay the hell away. As tough as DRG was, he was a real man. A genuine man. A dependable man. A man the world needs and will sorely miss. He passed away late 2022 unexpectedly and his last wishes were for his ashes to be scattered in 4 locations, which his beloved surviving wife Wendy has dutifully carried out. 

  1. At Loftus Versfeld the home of his much- adored Blue Bulls that he supported undyingly, despite being a born and lived Natalian. So loyal a man was he that he considered it his duty to don his finest Blue Bulls attire and head off to the local KZN Pub/Club to support his team against the opposition even though he may have been the only one in blue in the room. A part of him is with his beloved Bulls now.  
  2. In Durban Harbour where he worked for most of his life for Transnet and probably because he felt that he owed that place much. His spirit floats in those waters now too. 
  3. At Parkhill Bowling Club in Durban North, where he and Wendy were blessed with many special years joyously socialising and of course he winding up the locals with his blue attire in the pub in the homeland of the black & white.
  4. At Greyville Racecourse where he served many memorable years as the Chief Handler in the 1970’s and into the 1980’s responsible for the loading of horses into the Starting Stalls including many Durban July Fields.  This final part of his wish is about to unfold. 

When approached with the request a few weeks ago to enact the final leg of DRG’s wish, Kurt Grunewald, Gold Circle’s Senior Racetrack Manager, had no hesitation in generously obliging.  

In fact he went a step further in offering to personally scatter the remaining ashes of DRG on course before the start of this years Durban July, which is an incredible posthumous honour for the late simple man of men. It has also touched the very heart of his wife Wendy, herself a daughter of the soil and unshakable principle. The last task she can do for her dear DRG is nearing completion in a manner that should also touch the heart of any other warm blooded, breathing human. On July Day Wendy will be watching from home and, in all understandable likelihood, be overcome with emotion knowing that her DRG will be tickled pink, although he was the kind of man to never admit it.  

In the big race starting stalls that day will be the very appropriately named DAVE THE KING, the first son of an ordinary but rock-solid sire in Global View. DTK is making his first bid, for his sire too, to compete in Africa’s Biggest Horseracing event and from all reports put in a magnificently eye-opening gallop this past week and quietly fancied by many.  

When DTK pings those gates on Saturday he will surely have the advantage of being carried by  the spiritual wings of his late namesake that is David Robert Goudie, a King of a Bloke, who will be shouting DTK home from the clouds with the very same gusto he did his Blue Bulls.   

Win or lose DAVE THE KING is affording a good man a final farewell that neither he nor Wendy could ever have dreamed possible.  

If DAVE THE KING wins the 2023 Durban July another legendary story will be written into the annals this incredible industry. One that carries so much meaning for the human spirit thanks to the horse. 

Run well DAVE THE KING, DRG will be right there every stride of the 2200m and, whatever the outcome, will beam with pride and an over-filled heart. 

Rest well David Robert Goudie.