Winx filly sells for world record $10m

Australian thoroughbred sale history has been made with the first live foal of former racetrack phenomenon Winx being bought at auction by one of the mare's owners for $10 million.

The price - set at the annual Inglis Easter Yearling Sale at Warwick Farm racecourse in western Sydney on Monday - doubles the previous Australian record of $5m, paid 11 years ago for a half-brother to another champion mare, Black Caviar, who ultimately never raced.

It also eclipses the world record for a yearling filly of 5 million guineas, or $8.9m using the exchange rate of the day, paid at a sale in the UK in 2013 for a filly later named Al Naamah.

Winx's first foal was born deceased in 2020, but the safe passage to auction of her second - sired by 2012 Golden Slipper winner Pierro - had caused enormous excitement in international thoroughbred racing and breeding.

And ultimately the filly stayed at home, with one of Winx's three part-owners, Debbie Kepitis, going to eight figures to keep her.

Kepitis, daughter of late racing and breeding giant Jack Ingham, broke down in tears as the auctioneer's gavel fell following an intense bidding duel with American thoroughbred tycoon John Stewart, who was bidding from the US.

Debbie Kepitis with Hugh Bowman after Winx's fourth Cox Plate.
Debbie Kepitis celebrates Winx's fourth Cox Plate, in 2018, with jockey Hugh Bowman.

"I didn't come here to buy this horse originally," Kepitis said.

"We put her up for auction and then in the last few weeks, the family started to miss our 'granddaughter', so we decided that, as best we could, if we could get her, we would.

"I'm privileged to be able to secure this filly on behalf on my family.

"She's Australian forever and she's going to be just fabulous.

"Hopefully she'll do a Winx, but it doesn't matter if she doesn't."

Kepitis also announced the filly would be trained by multiple Sydney premiership winner Chris Waller. The expat New Zealander prepared Winx - herself bought as a yearling for just $230,000 - throughout her glittering career.

Winx won a world record 25 Group 1 races amid a 33-race winning streak, including winning what many regard as Australia's top quality race, the Cox Plate, an unprecedented four times.

She retired in 2019 with 37 wins from 43 starts and prize money of $26.45m.

The 12-year-old mare is now pregnant another foal, by four-time Australian champion sire Snitzel.

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