One aspect of the 2006 International Sale we didn't touch on in consideration of the high prices paid recently was that, regardless of what the class of horses do in the coming year or two, they will have laid the foundation for better sales to come. The Jockey Club has repeatedly made it clear it does not attempt to make money from the sale, which is intended as a service for permit holders, but it was in a slightly embarrassing situation this year when the gap between what the club paid for the horses and the prices at the sale blew right out. But the optimistic view is that now the club can close that gap itself by securing a better standard of yearling in the first place. There is not the necessity to look for the hidden treasures at the yearling sales - many of which may not quite turn out the bargain hoped for - when the club can buy much higher-grade lots knowing owners in Hong Kong are willing to pay. The result should be a higher sales yard standard across the board at the International Sale and, in all probability, an even better turn out of high-grade winners on the track.