Debbie Kepitis says Winx is so special she’s like another daughter to her.
Debbie Kepitis is no stranger to racing success yet has never experienced anything like her Winx adventure.
The build-up to the champion mare’s record-equalling third Cox Plate has been both surreal and scary, the Winx part-owner says.
“This horse is taking us and showing us things that I’ve never ever seen,” she said.
“I’ve been lucky to be a party to a lot of different horses doing a lot of amazing adventures.
“But she just has some X factor that she only needs to bring out when it’s needed.”
Winx needed it to hold off a challenge by Humidor to win Saturday’s weight-for-age championship, becoming the first horse in Australian racing history to amass more than $15 million in prize money.
“The run she had for her to win by half a length is phenomenal,” Kepitis said on Sunday.
“To win by a nose would have been fine.
“She made sure she won.
“Not every horse has that grit and determination.”
Others like to compare Winx to champions like the other three-time Cox Plate winner Kingston Town, two-time winner Sunline, unbeaten sprinter Black Caviar or three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva, who previously held the prize money record.
But not Winx’s owners Peter Tighe, Richard Treweeke and Kepitis, who hails from the Ingham family famous for their chicken business and their own thoroughbred racing success with champions like Octagonal and his son Lonhro.
“I don’t compare them. I applaud them. I enjoy them,” Kepitis said.
“I love Black Caviar. I went to her races. Makybe Diva – three Melbourne Cups. Who could do better?
“Buffering – what an old Trojan. Everyone forgets him.
“There are a lot of horses that have captured everyone’s imagination. Phar Lap.
“Keep celebrating but celebrate all the champions for who they are.”
For Tighe, the prize money has become secondary to the history and records.
“It won’t sink in for awhile but being part of history is certainly something very special,” he said.
The place Winx holds in Kepitis’ heart is so strong that she says the mare is like another daughter.
“She’s just very special and she will always be special.
“She deserves a great life when she’s finished racing.”
Trainer Chris Waller, who Kepitis describes as “the genius behind the genuis” and a freak like Winx, is weighing up what’s next for the world’s best horse on turf.
The owners admit the idea of Winx racing overseas is enticing, but are happy to leave those plans and the prospect of going after a fourth Cox Plate in a year’s time in Waller’s hands.
“To me, she’s an Australian horse. She’s done everything here. She’s shown them that she’s got freakish ability,” Kepitis said.
“The world can always come to us and if she can work to get to the world she will.”No tags for this post.