By Greg Prichard
Debbie Kepitis says there is “nothing better in racing than the thrill of ownership” and that if you were interested in getting involved and had the means to do so it was worth considering.
The part-owner of Winx will be wearing her heart on her sleeve again at Randwick on Saturday when the superstar contests the TAB Chipping Norton Stakes over 1600m.
“Absolutely,” she said when asked if her trademark emotions would be on display as the seven-year-old chases a 31st consecutive win.
“I can’t help it. I try very hard not to, but that’s just my personality I’m afraid.”
Kepitis helps light up the track when Winx races. She said while racing was a business it couldn’t help but become personal when you are connected with a horse as incredibly good as this one.
“Oh, it does,” she said.
“It’s actually more about what she’s done being such a good thing for racing. There’s the responsibility and the fun that comes with owning her, but what she’s doing for the whole sport is unique and to be able to be a part of that you have to pinch yourself.
“You can’t believe you’re involved in something that is such a good vehicle for the industry.”
Kepitis, of course, comes from a famous racing family as the daughter of Bob Ingham, but while Winx is clearly the queen of the crop her involvement in ownership stretches way beyond the wonder mare.
“I’ve got another 34 racehorses, so I’m totally embedded in the sport,” she said. “Myself, my husband and our daughters race a team of horses together.”
She said the opportunity was there for racegoers to get involved in ownership without having to make a huge outlay – particularly if they used racehorse syndication as an avenue.
“Look, to me there’s nothing better in racing than the thrill of ownership, but I think that to get involved you have to make a conscious decision,” she said.
“You have to make sure you’re not putting your family at any risk (financially) and you’ve just got to go into it with the right mindset.
“It’s a great thing to do. If you can look at it thoroughly, research it and do all your due diligence to make sure you know you’re making the right decision, there’s nothing better. Ask for advice about a horse and then decide in your own mind whether you think that advice is good.
“Syndication is a great way to go for a lot of people. You can work out what you can afford and what you’re happy to do and you can get that great buzz.
“They’ve done the hard job and gone to the sales, looked at the animals and made sure they’re a good product, so that takes all that guesswork out of it.
“But if you do want to buy into a horse, try to take a bit of ownership in the decision-making.
"You may like the look of a particular horse, for instance. And once you get one, take part in the naming, be there when it first goes to the trials – all of the steps up the ladder. It can be very exciting.”
Kepitis said a reputable syndicator and a responsible trainer was a great combination.
All things being well, Winx is scheduled to have two more starts after the Chipping Norton before being retired.
“But it’s not like there’s some ‘end’ in sight for her,” Kepitis said.
“Winx will just be moving on from racing, that’s all. Racing is only a small part of the whole life of a racehorse. She’ll have a great rest of her life.”