By Greg Prichard
Winx’s part-owner Peter Tighe has revealed offers to buy the champ, that came well before she began to rewrite history, only further convinced them they should hang on to her.
Novice owners might have been tempted by the fast cash, but rusted-on racing people like Tighe, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke knew how hard it was to find a champion and that if outside interests were making a play for Winx it had to be based on a sound belief in the horse’s potential.
They already very much liked what they saw in the then three-year-old filly themselves and believed, based on their own expert knowledge, that she could go places.
The offers that came just reaffirmed that belief.
“Winx was three and there was significant interest shown in her by people who obviously saw her potential,” Tighe said.
“That’s what smart people do. Like they’ve done with The Autumn Sun. Now he’s worth double what they’ve paid for him. That’s the whole idea.”
Tighe said when approaches for Winx came from people representing potential buyers it never even went on to reach the stage where either the identity of those buyers or exactly how much they were prepared to pay became clear.
“The offers came through agents, so nobody was putting a name to them at that stage,” he said.
“It was just, ‘we have an interested party that wants to buy the horse’, and us saying, ‘we’re not interested’, that was the conversation. Nothing reached the stage of talking dollars.
“So, yes, we did get offers but they never got off the ground.
“They were bloodstock agents, or representatives of certain people. We don’t know who their clients were, so it was all fairly anonymous. But we weren’t interested in fielding the offers or taking it further, so therefore we weren’t interested in who was making the offers either.”
Winx won her only two starts as a two-year-old and was then successful in two of her first eight starts as a three-year-old – both at Group Two level – as well as a second in the Group One ATC Australian Oaks.
Her incredible winning streak that has stretched to 31 races began late in her three-year-old season with an incredible, last-to-first win in the Sunshine Coast Guineas in May, 2015.
Another spectacular win followed in the Queensland Oaks two weeks later and then she was spelled before returning as a spring four-year-old. The rest is history.
“Over time, people have said to us, ‘if you’re ever interested in selling her, give me a ring’. That’s the sort of thing that goes on,” Tighe said.
“We didn’t want to sell her back then and we certainly haven’t wanted to sell her since. She’s a national treasure, a not-for-sale item.
“We very rarely sell our good horses anyway and she’s like a member of the family. You couldn’t live with yourself if you did that.”
Winx’s farewell campaign will continue in the Group One The Agency George Ryder Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill on Golden Slipper day, March 23.