Living a dream with Winx: The co-owner, his mates and life memberships

GOLD PLATED: Former Orange man, now part-owner of miracle horse Winx, Richard Treweeke with the 2015 Cox Plate. Photo: STEVEN SIEWERT
GOLD PLATED: Former Orange man, now part-owner of miracle horse Winx, Richard Treweeke with the 2015 Cox Plate. Photo: STEVEN SIEWERT

“She’s too good to be true.”

The co-owner of wonder horse Winx has to pinch himself to believe the six-year-old mare’s incredible winning streak of 21 races is actually happening.

Richard Treweeke, ‘Dick’ to his old mates back in Orange, has owned horses for years but rarely had a winner.

Now, he owns one-third of an equine marvel.

Winx’ amazing run began in May 2015.

On October 28, she is an almost unbackable favourite to win her third Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

Last start, her first at Flemington, and her fourth in Melbourne where she had to adapt to running anti-clockwise compared to the clockwise direction of NSW tracks, she romped home by six and a half lengths to win the Turnbull Stakes.

Treweeke grew up in Orange, on the family farm Uralla, on Forest Road.

He moved to Sydney in the 1960s and lives at Mosman from where he is still in contact with mates in Orange.

Treweeke sends them information about Winx.

The horse has become their key talking point when they get together every week at Spring Hill’s Railway Hotel for a beer and a chat.

After a lifetime of owning unsuccessful horses Treweeke can’t believe his luck with Winx.

“I couldn’t afford them a lot of the time,” he said of the others.

“I used to go up to the Gold Coast all the time.

“We’d go to the races and sales.”

And that’s when he first learned about the promising mare.

As part of a small syndicate they sent the horse to Sydney trainer Chris Waller.

WINNING RUN: Winx strides to victory at Flemington. Photo: AAP

WINNING RUN: Winx strides to victory at Flemington. Photo: AAP

“We send all our horses down to Waller.

“She looked as if she was going to be alright.”

And $13.7 million worth of winnings later Treweeke is chuffed.

“I don’t believe it.

“I think it is a dream, she’s too good to be true.

“She’s not just the best race horse in Australia, she’s the best racehorse in the world.

“At the Cox Plate [2015] she broke the race record the first time she ran the race and she’s improved on that.”

Due to ill-health he hasn’t been able to get trackside to see her since she won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April.

“I haven’t been well for the last few months and I haven’t been able to go, which is very disappointing.

“I have to watch her on television.”

However, he is hoping to get to Moonee Valley for her next start.

“I don’t know, I am going to try to get down to Melbourne.”

While he hasn’t lived in Orange for 50 years, he has maintained his links with his old mates.

He recalls playing cards and tennis in Orange, with mates Beau Taylor and Dick Clarke among others.

“I’m 86, I’ll be 87 next month, most of my mates are dead.”

Treweeke and his mates share a unique bond.

“I’m a life member of the Orange Jockey Club,” he said.

So, are his mates, and it all happened in unusual circumstances.

Clarke said they were all keen on the track.

“We all used to go to the races together.”

Clarke said in the 1950s the jockey club was short of funds so it decided to sell life memberships for 50 pounds each.

So, they all bought their own piece of history.

“It was my last 50 pounds,” Clarke said.

He said he still kept in touch with ‘Dick.’

“I know him quite well, I ring him every now and again.

“Whenever he could he would send us information about Winx.

“He’d send me a copy of the information Waller gave him.

“It’s kept up great interest for us.

“We can’t get enough of Winx.

“We go to the Spring Hill [hotel] and we meet a lot of good mates there.

“They’re all interested in how Winx goes.”

Former jockey club secretary/manager Dan Maley confirmed the buy-a-life-membership scheme happened in the late 1950s – before his time at the club.

“My late father was a bookie and he bought one.

“They sold 50-100 memberships to raise money to get them out of debt.”

Winx is not Treweeke’s only horse at present.

He also owns Zumbelina which he said “has won five out of seven or eight starts.”

But, there is no doubting Winx is a favourite.

Treweeke said the mare’s racing future was still to be decided.

He said it was likely she would return to Sydney after the Cox Plate to run again in Sydney.

“I read in the newspaper there is talk of her racing overseas.

“I could listen to an argument about it but I don’t know.

“If they want to race her they can come here and race her.

“It has its risks, of course it does, they’re out of their stable, things can happen.”

However, he said he would take Waller’s advice on the overseas adventure.

An incredible record

The Winx story

  • Age 6, foaled September 14, 2011, bay mare
  •  Sire: Street Cry (Ireland) / Dam: Vegas Showgirl (NZ)
  • Prizemoney:  $13,777,925
  • Career: 31 starts, 25 wins, 3 2nds, 0 third places.
  • Record: Won 21 races in a row since May 2015
  • Stride: 6.76 metres which is shorter than the nearly 8.5 metres for Black Caviar and Phar Lap
  • Stride rate: 14 strides every five seconds compared to 12 for her rivals.
  • Owners: Magic Bloodstock Racing, R G Treweeke & D N Kepitis.
  • Trainer: Chris Waller.