Kepitis often goes to see Winx in the Hunter Valley where she is “in confinement” in a paddock with other mares, and is delighted to watch her just be a horse and a mother-to-be.
“We all worried a bit about how she would react being in a group paddock and in foal and not being in work, but she has made the adjustment well.
“When she first went into the paddock there was an old gelding there, he was 18 years old, called Kiawa, and she learned a lot from him. He dominated her at first but that's where she adapted after all those years in a racing stable.”
Winx’s first foal will inevitably be one of the most sought-after yearlings in the country. It is hard to see the trio putting the offspring up for sale although Kepitis says that no decisions will be made ahead of time.
“We haven't really discussed it since before Christmas. We have had a couple of lovely get-togethers and talked about what she did for us.
“We decided that we will make every decision as it comes up rather than make a plan in advance and be locked into it.”
Up in Brisbane, Peter Tighe is still heavily involved with racing. He has interests in some 60 horses and with Chris Waller, who trains “about 98 percent of them.”
“Winx was extraordinary and we really enjoyed it, but life moves on, even if it has slowed down a bit,” he said.
“We have shares in 60 other horses and we are trying to get the types that can run in the Melbourne Cup (he has been involved with Finche, who has run well in the past two Cups), the Caulfield Cup and races like the Doncaster, where Imaging (a horse bought out of Dermot Weld's stable in Ireland) is set.”
He acknowledges that it’s highly unlikely that he will ever be involved with a galloper as good as Winx again, but that won’t stop him trying.
“We are always on the lookout for the next Winx,” he said.
“We were at the Magic Millions and Karaka ... you just keep tossing your hat in the ring and hoping.”
He gets down to see Winx ‘when he can’.
“Patty (his wife) loves to have a chat to her and give her a pat. We are never far out of the loop. We have a What’s App group and we are monitoring the pregnancy. We have had a report saying she’s in perfect shape and taking to it well. She’s in a “Mum’s club” paddock and enjoying life.”
Winx’s regular rider, Hugh Bowman, is Sydney-based so Tighe catches up with him at the races when the opportunity presents and on the phone.
“My wife and his wife Christine stay in touch. They are just some of a long list of people and friends we made through Winx. It was a wonderful ride and she was the horse of a lifetime.”
(Photos by Lisa Grimm Photography and courtesy of Galloping Group Pty Ltd)