This was some kind of “belter”. The average for last year’s opening day was Aus $35 000, yet competition this time was such that the same session’s average came in at $51 000. We should’ve known, when we noticed dozens of Irish and Kiwi accents in the hotel gym and breakfast room the first morning, and then were beset with English, Americans and Easterners at the sales grounds.

In a nutshell, it was tough going, and even those from the “hard currency” countries to the north, were struggling. The Irish and Kiwis, in particular, who are among the shrewdest operators in the game, were largely short of their ambitions after day one, and it was no different for us. By comparison with last year, where we had five head in the locker on the first day, we were down to two this time, though to be fair, both the “pages” in the catalogue of the individuals on sale were markedly better.

We went with a slightly different mandate this time, looking mainly for colts by proven international stallions, and we’d found four by the end of day two.