‘It’s the perfect story’: Winx’s part-owner buys her foal for record $10 million – Sydney Morning Herald

3 minutes, 33 seconds Read
By Adam Pengilly
Updated April 8, 2024 — 4.47pm

One of Winx’s part owners has broken down in tears after paying an Australian record $10 million to buy the only living foal of Australia’s greatest racehorse.

Debbie Kepitis bought the filly on the second day of trading at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Warwick Farm, smashing the previous Australian record of $5 million for a yearling, paid for a half-brother to Black Caviar in 2013.

Winx’s foal was the subject of intense interest from at home and overseas, with buyers in Europe, Asia and the US all showing interest before she was finally sold to Kepitis’ Woppitt Bloodstock for the mammoth price in front of thousands of onlookers.

“I didn’t come here to buy this horse originally,” said Kepitis, a part-owner of Winx along with Peter Tighe and the family of the late Richard Treweeke.

“We put her up for auction and in the last few weeks, all of the family, we started to miss our daughter and granddaughter. We decided, as best we could, if we could get her we would.

“I’m privileged to have been able to secure this filly on behalf of my family. To hopefully see if she can get to the racetrack, and if she can’t, she will be an amazing mum. She’s Australian forever, and she’s going to be just fabulous.”

Winx’s only filly sold for $10 million on Monday.

Winx’s only filly sold for $10 million on Monday.Credit: Dominic Lorrimer

Winx’s trainer Chris Waller will prepare the filly for racing.

Her owners agreed to sell her only foal at this year’s Sydney sale, prompting American private equity tycoon John Stewart to vow he would spend up to $9 million to secure the filly by champion stallion Pierro.

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Stewart was the underbidder on the filly and told Inglis chief executive Mark Webster, who was bidding via phone, he was out when bidding reached $10 million.

“He asked me to be strong,” Webster said. “When it got to $10 [million], that was it. He said, ‘That’s it. She can have it’. He’s gone back to a party going in Lexington.”

The sale will ensure the filly remains in Australia, with Kepitis – daughter of Bob Ingham, the poultry magnate who co-founded the famous Ingham Bloodstock racing and breeding operation with brother Jack Ingham – essentially buying out her two fellow part-owners in Winx.

“I knew Debbie loved the horse and wanted the horse, but I didn’t know how strong she would be,” Webster said.

“It’s the most outstanding result. It’s the most expensive horse our company has sold and has ever been sold at auction in the southern hemisphere. I thank all the owners of Winx for supporting the sale and trusting us with the filly.”

Inglis had a security guard monitor the filly in her stall around the clock in the lead-up to the sale, which dominates the Australian horse-trading market alongside Gold Coast’s Magic Millions.

A security guard watches over the Winx filly before dawn on the morning of her sale at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

A security guard watches over the Winx filly before dawn on the morning of her sale at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Winx won a world record 25 group 1 races as part of a 33-race unbeaten streak to finish her career in 2019. She’s the only horse to win the Cox Plate four times.

Winx lost her first foal in 2020 after complications during birth, but is confirmed in foal to top stallion Snitzel and is due to give birth to her second progeny later this year.

“It’s no secret Winx lost her first foal and she nearly died,” said Coolmore Australia boss Tom Magnier, whose draft offered the filly for sale. “To be fair to [strapper] Paddy Sheehan and the whole team at Scone Equine, they did an unbelievable job saving [Winx].

“It’s fitting this filly is going to the Kepitis family, and it’s the perfect story. When you come up against Debbie, you need to have will and determination.

“I knew she would make a high figure because somebody’s buying history. It’s a collector’s item and there’s only one person who deserved today – and that was Debbie.”

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