So You Think This Is The Way To Pinhook

Steve Jostlear is a resilient kind of guy. If something ain’t workin’ he’s not the type to sit around complaining.

Jostlear’s Ampulla Lodge at Bunyip in Victoria used to stand stallions, more the ‘bread and butter’ variety, but a neat little business nevertheless.

Not anymore though. Jostlear believes the competition got a little too hot when some of the bigger studs set up shop in Victoria and offered deals he simply couldn’t match, so out went the stallions.

Fortunately for Jostlear, he’d always dabbled in a bit of pinhooking – one or two a year – turning a reasonable profit.

Always taking the hands on approach, Jostlear knows what he likes at a weanling sale and after they’ve spent a bit of time at his Gippsland property, he reckons he can sell you what you like.

About three years ago, Jostlear decided to up the ante and got a bit more serious about the pinhooking caper, spending quite a deal more on foals but reaping the rewards at yearling sales.

“Yes, we’ve had a bit of success over the past couple of years … a Canford Cliffs we bought for $65,000 as a weanling sold for $150,000 at the Melbourne Premier, a Rip Van Winkle (paid $70,000, sold $150,000), an Artie Schiller ($36,000/$180,000), a Charge Forward ($50,000/$200,000), a Smart Missile ($130,000/$320,000) and a Lonhro ($140,000/$340,000). And, of course, the Exceed And Excel,” Jostlear points out.

At the 2015 Great Southern Sale, Jostlear’s Ampulla Lodge and partner, Ascot Farm, paid $300,000 for the Exceed And Excel colt from Common Smytzer. Quite a sum when you consider the next most expensive weanling at that sale was $150,000. Consider the ante upped.

Then, in January of this year, Ampulla/Ascot placed the colt in the Gold Coast Magic Millions, eventually selling the now yearling for $800,000. That’s progress.

“It was certainly a great result,” Jostlear adds, “but I also get a real thrill out of buying and selling horses like the Danzero colt from Li’L Miss Hayley.

“We picked him up for $17,000 as a weanling, then sold him to Paul Moroney for $85,000 as a yearling. Paul tells me the horse won a trial at Cranbourne the other day and has since been on-sold to Hong Kong.”

Ampulla Lodge and Ascot Farm were at it again this week at the Gold Coast Magic Millions National Weanling Sale, buying up three foals for $665,000, including a So You Think filly for $335,000 and a So You Think colt for $200,000.

“I reckon he (So You Think) has gotten off to a great start,” Jostlear enthused. “Everyone expected that his stock would get better at three, but his first lot of two year olds have already done a great job with a Group Two winner in Gold Rush and quite a few other winners too.

“He was a terrific horse himself and I believe his runners will continue to improve as they get older.”

Interestingly, by the time Jostlear sells the weanlings he bought in May, So You Think’s oldest runners will be three.

So, do you think he’s on the right track?


The Power of Passion