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Champion’s Pierro daughter to be offered at Inglis Easter

The first foal from one of Australia’s all-time great race mares, 25-time Group 1 winner Winx (Street Cry), will be offered at next year’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, ensuring the world thoroughbred industry’s focus is squarely on Sydney next April.

The connections of the four-time Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) heroine have made the shock decision to offer Winx’s daughter by Pierro (Lonhro) at the 2024 Riverside Stables sale, renowned for attracting a significant number of Australasia’s best-bred yearlings each year.

Arguably the best of three generational mares to dominate Australian racing this century, alongside the undefeated Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) and three-time Melbourne Cup champion Makybe Diva (Desert King), Winx won 33 races straight, captivating not only the sport’s hardened fans but the wider public, both domestically and internationally, such was her sustained racecourse aura across five seasons.

The enormity of having a filly out of Winx go to public auction was not lost on Inglis Bloodstock chief executive Sebastian Hutch who suggested her appearance could also attract new local and international buyers to the Australian market and put another spotlight on the strength of the local industry.

“You look at the history of bloodstock sales around the world and the progeny of these extraordinary race mares coming on the market is very rare, particularly daughters,” Hutch told ANZ Bloodstock News yesterday. 

“There’s colts out of these top mares that go on the market, but for fillies, it’s very, very rare, so it is very exciting.”

He added: “I think the biggest compliment to this filly is that she’s got global appeal. It is hard not to imagine any major investor in bloodstock around the world who isn’t going to see the merits of this filly and we have the mandate to make sure the filly gets as much exposure as we can possibly generate.

“She is a very impressive model and whether it’s the United States, the Middle East, Europe or Japan, any jurisdiction you can think of, there’s going to be multiple parties interested in a filly like her.”

Winx’s only foal so far will be offered by breeders Peter and Patty Tighe, Woppitt Bloodstock and Elizabeth Treweeke and Rick Treweeke on day two of the April 7 and 8 Inglis Easter sale in Sydney next year through the draft of Coolmore, where Winx was born and now resides and where the filly has been raised.

Woppitt Bloodstock’s Debbie Kepitis admitted that the decision to sell Winx’s first live foal had been difficult to reach, but it is one the connections are aligned on despite “emotions running very high”.

“It would have been easy for us all to just keep racing the progeny and continue on. It is a lot harder to think about parting with something so special, but we just felt it would be the right thing to do,” Kepitis told ANZ Bloodstock News.

“Winx showcased Australian racing on Australian shores but if a filly of hers was bought by an overseas ownership group and raced overseas, I believe she would compete amazingly on the international stage if she was handled correctly.”

Peter Tighe, whose blue Magic Bloodstock silks became synonymous as a result of Winx’s racecourse feats, said: “Winx has given us all unexplainable joy and it was agreed by the ownership group that by offering this filly for sale, we make available the opportunity for someone else to manage the next racing chapter of what has been a great story.”

Importantly, Hutch believes the headline filly will stand up physically to scrutiny from bloodstock agents, potential owners, trainers and interested parties when she parades at the Easter sale.

“I have been fortunate enough to see her a few times in her life and I can confidently say, independent of her parents, I think she’d be regarded as a top-class filly from a physical standpoint, anyway,” Hutch said.

“She was a good foal and she has matured into a very good yearling and she looks like the sort of yearling who is going to keep getting better and better as she gets older. She is very similar to her mother in a lot of ways, both in terms of her physique and her temperament.

“She is a very similar colour to her mother, no white points, a smart and intelligent looking head, a great outlook, a really positive way of going in how she uses herself and she’s strong in many of the ways her mother is.

“She has a big hip, a great middle and moves with great purpose … people are going to be excited when they get an opportunity to see her.”

Winx, whose John Camilleri-bred-and-owned three-year-old half-sister Time Of My Life (I Am Invincible) scored a commanding win at her first start at Geelong last week, has endured a tumultuous passage at stud to date.

Retired from racing in April 2019, having won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) for the third time to round out her glittering 25 Group 1-winning career, the now 12-year-old’s first foal by I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) was born dead in 2020 after a prolonged pregnancy.

Given a year off by connections, Winx, who is a half-sister to ATC Kindergarten Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) winner El Divino (Snitzel), was then served by Coolmore’s Pierro in 2021, a mating which produced the Easter sale-bound, October-born filly, before she missed to champion sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) last year.

“The owners wanted to try and breed the best racehorses they can out of the mare to extend her legacy beyond her own race record and it looks a very suitable mating for her,” Hutch said of Winx’s pairing with Pierro.

“Street Cry was a fantastic stallion, an outstanding broodmare sire, and there’s no Danehill in the pedigree, so she’s a big opportunity for people to have a filly with no Danehill in her pedigree and then there’s all those half-sisters to Winx and relatives of Winx that have been well-mated. 

“It’s a pedigree that looks good now and it’s a safe bet to say that, while it looks good today, it’s going to look better in five years, ten years and 20 years’ time.” 

The $230,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale graduate Winx, who was selected by her trainer Chris Waller’s trusted agent Guy Mulcaster at the 2013 auction, is due to be covered by Arrowfield’s roster leader Snitzel again this year. 

Winx is the second foal out of New Zealand stakes-winning mare Vegas Showgirl (Al Akbar), whose five foals to race are all winners. 

Kepitis said the timing of the Easter sale, about three months after January’s Magic Millions sale, was one of the key reasons why Inglis was chosen as the auction house to offer the blueblood filly.

“It was a hard decision because, of course, Winx came out of Magic Millions, but she’s a collector’s item and you need her to be at her best,” Kepitis said.

“She is a Pierro filly who was born in October, not September, so she is a later foal – not the latest, but a later foal – so to have her possess the strength and character to cope with what she is going to have to cope with at a sale, we felt she needed to be a little bit more mature … and that’s why we went with Inglis.”

Under trainer Waller’s tutelage, Winx won 37 of her 43 race starts, her last 33 in succession and amassing almost $26.5 million in prize-money when the curtain came down on her glittering racecourse career in front of a packed Randwick at The Championships in the autumn of 2019. She reached a Timeform rating of 134, equal to Japan’s late super sire Deep Impact (Sunday Silence) and Europe’s champion mare Enable (Nathaniel).

The catalogue for the Inglis Easter sale, which is conducted in the week of The Championships at Royal Randwick in April, will be confirmed early next year.

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