Vertigo can’t stop octogenarian Winx owner living the dream from his lounge room
October 26, 2015
Richard Treweeke likes to refer to his previous ventures into racehorse ownership spanning more than half a century as akin to having “chase horses rather than racehorses”.
But when the Sydney octogenarian was told about a filly that might have left the “chase horse” mould behind he wanted to see it for himself.
So Treweeke popped along to Rosehill one day, watched a filly named Winx win her second start and has been celebrating in front of his TV at almost every start since.
“I’ve been involved with horses since 1957 and I’d never seen one win [in person] until Winx,” Treweeke said from his Mosman home after Chris Waller’s filly smoked her rivals in a record-breaking Cox Plate.
Treweeke had planned to make the trip to Moonee Valley, but a bout of vertigo rendered it impossible.
Instead the on-course representation was left to his partners in the horse: Peter Tighe, who used to race a few with Treweeke and Gold Coast trainer Alan Bailey before his retirement, and Debbie Kepitis, the youngest daughter of Bob Ingham.
It’s doubtful they would have cheered as loud as Treweeke, even allowing for Kepitis’ trademark “yahoo” whenever she is bound for the winner’s circle.
“I’ve been falling over and getting giddy,” Treweeke said. “I’m 85 in November, but this might straighten me up again.
“I was yelling [at the TV]. It was very, very exciting. I’ve had so many phone calls since and people that have followed the horse are very excited. I give them information about her and they feel a part of it.
“It’s a dream … it’s just a dream and I will wake up soon.”
He will also tell them how a farmer hailing from Orange in the state’s central west started owning horses all those years ago.
The journey to racing utopia hasn’t been as long for Tighe and Kepitis, but no less special. On the advice of Chris Waller’s bloodstock guru Guy Mulcaster, Tighe and his Magic Bloodstock arm forked out $230,000 for the filly sold in a Coolmore Magic Millions draft. And then she beat up on the boys in Australasia’s weight-for-age title fight.
“I used to be happy just to come to the races,” Tighe said. “Then to have a runner, then have a good horse … everything has come to fruition and it’s what you dream of. What can you say? We came to beat the best in the world and we didn’t beat them — we flogged them. It makes it all the more sweeter. It’s unbelievable.”
Kepitis still races horses with the Ingham family but on a happy whim, bought into a few horses of her own. –‘Adam Pengilly