kerry jack and stephen gillStephen Gill and myself - “Job Well Done”
(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

kerry jackKerry Jack Summerhill Bloodstock and Racing ManagerAfter a 15 hour flight and mysteriously losing 9 hours of my life (I can never get my head around that!), I landed in Melbourne and hit the ground running.

With 300 yearlings to sort through in 2 days, there is no rest for the wicked, and I get stuck right in. Each prospective yearling’s size, balance, conformation, correctness, presence and temperament is assessed while standing and walking. In a few minutes the youngster is judged and is either discarded or put on the shortlist. Two days later the boss, Mick Goss, arrives with the cheque book, as well as Stephen Gill, good friend and client of Summerhill, who has come to participate in the pinhooking process.

After a festive cocktail party, and a few hours sleep, we are all inspecting the shortlist and debating the merits of each individual young racehorse. The list is finally shortened down to around 40 possibilities and the vet then studies the x-rays and adds his comments and recommendations. Finally a “shortened short list” is put together and each lot number is valued. With the majority of the leg work done, it is now all about patience.

Each day 200 odd horses are put through the auction ring and we wait patiently for our selected horses to come through, and for the gaps in the market to appear.

On day one we underbid on half a dozen lots before finally purchasing 2 smashing Galileo fillies. Both lovely individuals with good pedigrees and by super sire Galileo, we are pleased to be able to take them back to South Africa.

On day 2 we were again outbid many times before coming away with 3 colts by internationally successful sires Hussonet, Anabaa and Red Ransom – all exciting prospects for the Ready to Run Sale later this year.

On day 3, we waited all day for one particular lot only to be blown out of the water – frustrating as it was we were pleased with our purchases and took the following day off to see some of the sites around Melbourne, before heading for home.