Disgraced racing identity Damion Flower link to next Winx foal after her first filly sells for world record $10m

Staff Writers and Trevor Marshallsea
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Damion Flower was jailed for 28 years in 2022.
Damion Flower was jailed for 28 years in 2022. Credit: BRENDAN ESPOSITO/AAPIMAGE

Disgraced racing identity Damion Flower has been linked to the next foal Winx is set to produce, who could be worth more than the $10 million her first foal sold for.

Flower, who was jailed for nearly three decades in 2022 for running a cocaine smuggling operation through Sydney Airport, owns a share in the stallion, Snitzel, who has sired Winx’s next foal.

Horses Trapeze Artist and Rezel are some of the champions Snitzel has helped produce. The Daily Telegraph reported every time Snitzel services a mare like Winx he earns $250,000 for his owners. Flower’s company, which owns one fortieth of Snitzel, makes $1 million a year this way.

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Following his conviction Flower was ordered to pay more than $8 million determined to be the proceeds of crime.

On Monday Australian thoroughbred sale history was made with the first live foal of the former racetrack phenomenon Winx being bought at auction by one of the mare’s owners for $10 million.

The price - set at the annual Inglis Easter Yearling Sale at Warwick Farm racecourse in western Sydney - doubled the previous Australian record of $5m, paid 11 years ago for a half-brother to another champion mare, Black Caviar, who ultimately never raced.

Winx, with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Champion racemare Winx's first foal has sold for $10 million at auction in Sydney. (Steve Christo/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

It also eclipses the world record for a yearling filly of 5 million guineas, or $8.9m using the exchange rate of the day, paid at a sale in the UK in 2013 for a filly later named Al Naamah.

Winx’s first foal was born deceased in 2020, but the safe passage to auction of her second - sired by 2012 Golden Slipper winner Pierro - had caused enormous excitement in international thoroughbred racing and breeding.

And ultimately the filly stayed at home, with one of Winx’s three part-owners, Debbie Kepitis, going to eight figures to keep her.

Kepitis, daughter of late racing and breeding giant Jack Ingham, broke down in tears as the auctioneer’s gavel fell following an intense bidding duel with American thoroughbred tycoon John Stewart, who was bidding from the US.

“I didn’t come here to buy this horse originally,” Kepitis said.

“We put her up for auction and then in the last few weeks, the family started to miss our ‘granddaughter’, so we decided that, as best we could, if we could get her, we would.

“I’m privileged to be able to secure this filly on behalf on my family.

“She’s Australian forever and she’s going to be just fabulous.

“Hopefully she’ll do a Winx, but it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: The first foal out of race mare Winx is lead to auction by Coolmore's foaling manager Patrick "Paddy " Sheehan where it sold for $10 million to Winx's former part-owner Debbie Kepitis and her Woppitt Bloodstock during the Easter Yearling Sales at Warwick Farm on April 08, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
The first foal out of race mare Winx sold for $10 million at auction. Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Kepitis also announced the filly would be trained by multiple Sydney premiership winner Chris Waller. The expat New Zealander prepared Winx - herself bought as a yearling for just $230,000 - throughout her glittering career.

Winx won a world record 25 Group 1 races amid a 33-race winning streak, including winning what many regard as Australia’s top quality race, the Cox Plate, an unprecedented four times.

She retired in 2019 with 37 wins from 43 starts and prize money of $26.45m.

The 12-year-old mare is now pregnant with another foal, by four-time Australian champion sire Snitzel.

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