It was the opportunity of a lifetime on Saturday for a well-respected Gundagai race caller.
Known for his fast-talking and quick wit James Tait was selected to call the $400,000 Country Championships Final that was held at Royal Randwick at the weekend.
It was James’ first time calling at Sydney’s premier racetrack featuring on one of Australia’s biggest days of racing.
“It was such a thrill to be calling at such a prominent Australian track on such a prominent Australian race day,” James said.
“Being Doncaster and Derby Day, it’s always one of the great days of racing in Australia.
“It was definitely an unexpected call up but a big thrill.”
James said for such a big race he started preparations early going over names and jockey colours throughout last week.
“The Country Championships has been such a great concept,” he said.
“The race offers country trainers, owners and jockeys prizemoney nearly 10 times that of what they would earn at a country meeting,” he said.
“These horses normally race for top prizemoney of $35,000-$40,000 but this one is worth $400,000.
“The Country Championship, now in its second year, has been a great initiative and has helped boost country racing.”
James is no stranger to the racing game, with his family having a long association with the sport.
His father Sandy part-owned one of Australia’s most successful racehorses in Tie The Knot, a 13-time Group One winner.
“I’ve always been interested in racing, and calling was something I always thought of doing,” he said.
“I never thought a few race calls here and there would have lead to calling such a big race in the city.”