news / Horse Racing

Meet one of racing's real characters

BY Mick Sharkie - @TheSharkTweet
3 years ago Horse Racing

For the majority of the year, Kangaroo Island is a peaceful place whre the locals are more concerned with lobster than horses.

The nation’s third-largest island, situated 112 kilometres southwest of Adelaide, is home to a few less than 5000 folk.

Legendary local trainer James Bates has called Kangaroo Island home for all of his 60-plus years.

A sheep farmer, Bates keeps the horses ticking over because: “I don’t want to sit around at my age just worrying about sheep all the time”.

He got the racing bug in the late 1960s when his father purchased a horse - Casino Boy - and the veteran saluted in the 1970 Kangaroo Island Cup.

The local Cup is great for the community - spiritually and economically.

“If we didn’t have the racing the place would be empty. The town does well out of it here,” Bates said.

“I just love racing because you meet so many different characters.”



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