The first Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong Chinese CEO and stud farm owner, Christopher Lee has never been one to shy away from a challenge. Candid, self-aware and unafraid, the horseman has come into his own over the past year, raising his first yearlings and putting together his first drafts for the upcoming sales season.
Some of the broodmares that A List Stud has invested in recently include Gr.3 winners Agent Pippa (Demerit), Pecans (Skilled), and New Zealand Oaks place getter Insurgent (Ishiguru).
And now, eight years after continually buying Thoroughbreds, not only will Lee participate in the top premier Thoroughbred sales but he will start with a bang with his draft going into the Book 1 of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Here are excerpts from the interview with Lee:
Q: Your draft consists of some amazing horses. Could you please tell us more about these highlights of your January Magic Millions of Sales?
A: The three yearlings that A List Stud will present at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale consist of three fillies, and all by proven and emerging quality stallions:
LOT 407 – So You Think (NZ) x Invincible Express: The attractive strong filly with a good shoulder and hindquarters is the first foal, of city winner Invincible Express, who won six races up to 1100m and was a winner on debut as 2YO. Invincible Express is by Australia’s hottest sire I Am Invincible and is out of a 2YO winning Iglesia mare who is a half-sister to stakes winner Emit Time. This yearling filly is by proven sire So You Think whose Gr.1 winning fillies include Nakeeta Jane, Sopressa, and La Bella Diosa.
LOT 188 – Frosted (USA) x Cottoned On: The first foal, of Cottoned On, is by exciting young sire Frosted who is an early leader on the first season sire list at the time of writing.
This filly’s second dam is the tough race mare Marveen, who won six races including three races at Listed level and was multiple times group placed. This is the family of speedy 2YO Unite and Conquer, as well as Danglissa and Sweet Redemption. She is a lovely forward type, with good scope and presence.
LOT 1137 – Shooting to Win x What a Treat: Rounding out the A-List Stud draft for the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale is a filly by emerging sire Shooting to Win who is siring winners week in week out and has two rising stars of Australian racing in Tailleur and undefeated Mystery Shot. This filly is out of What a Treat (Lonhro) who won six races, all at sprint distances, and she has already left a 2YO winner at stud. This is one of Australia’s most consistent families that descends from Gr.1 winner Wrap Around and includes Champion 2YO and Champion 3YO Fashions Afield, 2YO group winner Kiss and Makeup, and the dam of this filly is a half-sister to the dam of New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of Year winner Imelda Mary who was a dual Gr.2 winner last season. She is a very athletic and is a great walking filly with nice muscle and good bones.
Q: What has your past experience been with this sale?
A: This will be our first year selling horses here. I’ve been buying horses here in Australia for more than 8 years. It’s really exciting for me to start a new role in selling horses in sales.
Q: What other sales are you likely to be attending during the yearling sale season?
A: We will have an opportunity to attend the Adelaide Yearling Sale and Easter Yearling Sale.
Q: Keeping the situation of 2020 in mind what kind of changes have you made to your planning and preparation process?
A: I think, each year the first auction is very important, especially the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Covid-19 has influenced the auction, however I think there is a global need for horses. We will plan to make ourselves well prepared for this sales challenge. Hopefully, we will see a good result at Gold Coast.
Q: Please tell us more about yourself and how you got into horses as well as about your farm and your team.
A: I met a stud farm owner in 2008 who led me to Australia. He had over 3 decades of experience in the Thoroughbred breeding industry. He shared his knowledge and experience with me. In 2011, I got involved in breeding industry for the first time. I was constantly travelling between Hong Kong and Australia to visit my horses and participate in different auctions to learn & gain experience.
In 2019, I took over the brand name of Laceby Lodge Stud located in Victoria. I started rebranding as well as determining our brand positioning. Eventually, I renamed our brand to A-List Stud. A-List was the first horse I owned in Australia.
I have been in this industry for over 10 years. Experience has shown me that horse breeding work is really challenging and tough work. I am very lucky that I am both a stud farm owner and a CEO at the same time.
A-List Stud occupies 102 Acres. We have around 140 horses, including broodmares, foals, and yearlings, etc. Our stud has adopted the Smart Farm system to cope with an intelligent management model. It makes our stud more efficient in operations management and infuses it with innovative elements of technology.
Q: And finally, where do you see innovation and growth within the Thoroughbred industry?
A: We are a Smart Stud. We are adding elements with various aspects, different position, and future development into our business. This includes technology, science, etc. We hope to add value to the quality of our horses through these aspects of approach.
**This article was reproduced with permission from The Impact magazine.