Analyse this: Breeder in focus on Woppitt Bloodstock

6 min read
In this series, TTR AusNZ shines the analytical spotlight on an in-form sire, trainer, vendor or breeder who is enjoying a particularly good run and Woppitt Bloodstock is TTR AusNZ's breeder of the month.

Cover image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Debbie Kepitis, daughter of Bob Ingham and niece of Jack Ingham of the former Woodlands Stud, has a rich history of racetrack success with champions like Octagonal and Lonhro. Now, alongside her husband Paul and daughters Alinta, Lara, and Talia, Kepitis is making significant strides in the Australian breeding ranks with Woppitt Bloodstock.

• Woppitt Bloodstock has enjoyed its most successful season to date having claimed seven stakes wins this season.

• Woppitt Bloodstock’s Riff Rocket (American Pharoah {USA}), joins Imperatriz (I Am Invincible), Mr Brightside (NZ) (Bullbars), and Pride Of Jenni (Pride Of Dubai) as the only horses to have claimed three or more Group 1 victories this season.

• Riff Rocket has earned over 22 per cent of American Pharoah's total Southern Hemisphere earnings.

• Woppitt Bloodstock’s stakes winners this season were conceived off an average stud fee of $62,500.

Renowned for their co-ownership of Champion Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) and elite stallion prospects in the Coolmore Stud Syndicate such as Home Affairs and Shinzo, Woppitt Bloodstock is now forging a solid reputation for its iconic purple and white silks. Their successes include Group-winning yearling filly acquisitions like Lazzago (Capitalist) and Mumbai Muse (Zoustar), as well as impressive homebreds who have been enjoying a particularly good run of late.

This season, Woppitt Bloodstock has excelled with seven stakes wins from three individual horses, highlighted by three elite-level victories from Riff Rocket who made history by becoming just the fourth horse in history to win both the G1 VRC Derby and G1 Australian Derby.

ListedSuper Impose PlateRiff Rocket
Group 1Victoria DerbyRiff Rocket
Group 3The DebonairRiff Rocket
Group 3Sky High StakesLindermann
Group 1Rosehill GuineasRiff Rocket
Group 1Atc Australian DerbyRiff Rocket
Group 3J H B Carr StakesKonasana

Table: Woppitt Bloodstock’s homebred stakes wins 2023/24 season

It’s been a season to remember for the team with Riff Rocket the dominant 3-year-old this season, claiming five individual black-type races, nearly four per cent of the stakes races under those conditions. Outside of Tropical Squall’s (Prized Icon) two elite victories, Riff Rocket is the only 3-year-old to secure three Group 1 wins this season. He joins elite company in Imperatriz, Mr Brightside and Pride Of Jenni as the only horses to achieve three or more Group 1 victories this season.

Woppitt Bloodstock’s Group 1 Rosehill Guineas winner Lindermann (Lonhro) added the G3 Sky High Stakes to his resume this year after placing third at weight-for-age in the G1 Verry Elleegant Stakes, while 3-year-old homebred filly Konasana (Dundeel {NZ}) claimed the G3 James Carr Stakes in April and earned her fourth win in doing so.

Riff RocketAmerican Pharoah (USA)Missile Coda2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale$400,000
LindermannLonhroSelf Esteem2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale$170,000
KonasanaDundeelPosing (USA)2018 Inglis Chairman's Sale$500,000

Table: Dams of Woppitt Bloodstock’s current season stakes winners and their source.

All three of Woppitt Bloodstock’s homebred winners this year are from mares purchased at public auctions either as yearlings or mares off the track. Riff Rocket is the second foal from Missile Coda (Smart Missile), acquired by Woppitt Bloodstock for $400,000 from the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. A debut winning juvenile, Missile Coda won five races and was stakes placed for trainers Peter and Paul Snowden. Riff Rocket was conceived from American Pharoah's third Australian breeding season off a stud fee of $66,000 (including GST).

In just 11 career starts, Riff Rocket has earned connections over $3.5 million in prize-money and remains as American Pharoah's only Southern Hemisphere Group 1 winner. Missile Coda's 2-year-old, Codetta (Nicconi) is currently in training with Michael Freedman, while she is due to foal to Woppitt Bloodstock’s part-owned Home Affairs this season after missing to Yes Yes Yes.

“In just 11 career starts, Riff Rocket has earned connections over $3.5 million in prize-money and remains as American Pharoah's only Southern Hemisphere Group 1 winner.”

Lindermann’s dam, Self Esteem (Stratum), was purchased for $170,000 from the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale by Snowden Racing. Woppitt Bloodstock owned and raced the talented filly to two wins, stakes placings and a fourth in the G1 Vinery Stud S. The rising 12-year-old mare’s 2-year-old Hammett (Written By) is in training with Chris Waller, while she has another Written By weanling on the ground and is due to foal a three-quarter-brother to Lindermann by Pierro this season.

Riff Rocket | Image courtesy of Racing Photos

Woppitt Bloodstock’s third stakes winner this season, Konasana is the third foal from the imported mare Posing (USA) (Medicean {GB}), who was acquired for $500,000 at the 2018 Inglis Chairman's Breeding Stock Sale. At the time of sale, the mare from the family of Enable (GB) sire, Nathaniel (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) was carrying a southern-hemisphere time cover to Frankel (GB) which subsequently turned out to be Phosphene who won on debut for connections. The stakes producing mare has since been moved on at this year’s Inglis Sydney Broodmare Sale where she fetched $210,000 to the bid of Mitchell Bloodstock (FBAA).

“Konasana is the third foal from the imported mare Posing, who was acquired for $500,000 at the 2018 Inglis Chairman's Breeding Stock Sale.”

Looking to the future, Woppitt Bloodstock have a small but strong broodmare band to support its strong band of stallions at stud including Home Affairs, Yes Yes Yes and G1 Golden Slipper winner Shinzo who is new to the Coolmore roster this year. Among the operation’s broodmare band is His Glory (USA) (Mineshaft (USA) who was purchased for $425,000 from the 2022 Inglis Chairman’s Sale. She produced a colt by Woppitt Bloodstock’s Home Affairs last year and is again in foal to the multiple Group 1 winner. Starla (Snitzel) purchased for $350,000 at 2018 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale was a five-time metropolitan winner of over $450,000. The former Chirs Waller trained mare has a weanling filly on the ground by Home Affairs and is currently in foal to Coolmore’s popular shuttle sire, Wootton Bassett (GB).

Woppitt Bloodstock's success isn't limited to the breeding barn and racetrack, while typically they retain most of their homebred stock, the operation has enjoyed great success in the sales ring. At last year's Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Woppitt Bloodstock's homebred Yes Yes Yes colt from Limerock (Charge Forward) topped Day 2 of the sale when knocked down to Yes Bloodstock / Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA) for $450,000. Purchased at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale for $160,000, Limerock proved an astute purchase for the team.

The Kepitis family | Image courtesy of Inglis

From breeding Group 1 winners to producing sale-topping yearlings, Woppitt Bloodstock’s achievements are marked not only by their racetrack victories but also by their strategic breeding and acquisitions, solidifying their place as a rising force in Australian thoroughbred breeding.

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