Home » How a Sydney grandmother took the world of horse racing by storm

How a Sydney grandmother took the world of horse racing by storm

Kepitis manages Woppitt Bloodstock, named after her first horse, alongside her husband Paul and daughters Alinta, Lara and Talia, helping them to put Australia at the forefront of the world of horse racing, something she takes great pride in.

“It’s very humbling actually,” Kepitis said on Tuesday. “You put all your passion into this industry and then we’ve had beautiful horses that draw you in … it’s like going to the Olympics, but it’s every week, every month or every season.”

Debbie Kepitis and her family are all smiles after their winning bid for Winx’s first foal on Monday.Credit: Getty

Kepitis is renowned for her down-to-earth nature, as happy chatting with stable hands at the farm as she is swapping news in the owner’s pavilion at the world’s finest tracks. In 2020, Winx lost her first foal, putting her own life briefly in danger, before making a full recovery at Coolmore Stud and eventually giving birth to a healthy filly two years later.

Coolmore Australia principal Tom Magnier saw first-hand the care that Kepitis has for Winx and his staff, watching her sit for countless hours beside the champion racehorse as she came near death, and then eventually witnessing the birth of the filly she affectionately calls ‘Winny’.

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“Watching Debbie [win the auction] was like watching Winx win in another group 1 [race] except there was probably more emotion from Debbie watching that filly sale than there was in any of Winx’s group 1s [wins],” Magnier said. “Just because I know Debbie, I know the family and I knew what this meant to them.”

Kepitis is currently taking stock of the record-breaking purchase of the filly, but her abiding emotion is relief that she has kept the horse not only in her family, but in Australia.

“It was very tense, very hard,” Kepitis said. “It was relief and then it was just, ‘yes she’s ours’ and she does stay here and if we’re lucky enough she can be a race horse it’ll be in Australia and she can start off in Australia. And if she’s not, she’s still got the best bloodlines in Australia and she can go on and be a mum.

“That’s a lot of chickens to be hatched before we get to that, there’s a lot of fun to be had, a lot of exciting times for her. She’s very happy now.”