Restaurant owner Michael Lee looking to cook up huge unbeaten streak with Yes Dream at Ipswich

Chinese restaurant owner Michael Lee will put his training cap on when he sends an unbeaten three-year-old Yes Dream to Ipswich on Saturday.

North Queenslander Michael Lee runs a Chinese restaurant when he’s not busy training horses but admits it will all go on pause on Saturday as he looks to cook up a southern raid at Ipswich with his unbeaten three-year-old Yes Dream.

Southern trips come few and far between for Lee, who has just two horses in work at his Atherton stables, but he believes Yes Dream has earned the right to race in the QTIS 3YO Classic (1100m) at Ipswich on Saturday, as North Queensland’s best three-year-old.

Lee won the Group 3 Queensland Cup in 2004 with his mighty stayer Regal Punch, and he believes Yes Dream is his best southeast Queensland winning chance since then.

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“It is all starting to click for him so we thought we’d take him down to Brisbane and have a crack while he can race in a three-year-old company, I’d say he would be very competitive,” Lee said.

“It was a $100,000 race he won in Townsville, he won it very convincingly, so I’d say he’s the top three-year-old up here at the moment.

“You have to give him a crack at them down south.”

Lee recently had Ruby July make the trip south and win at Eagle Farm, however he had transferred the training duties to Sunshine Coast trainer Gary Duncan by then.

Fittingly, Yes Dream is the younger half brother to Ruby July, with Lee enjoying considerable success breeding out of his mare Platinum Ruby.

“I bred both of the horses, I own the mare – Platinum Ruby – I raced her with Gerald Ryan in Brisbane,” he said.

“She started to have a few issues with her feet, she was a nice looking horse so I thought I would breed a few out of her, we have been lucky.

“She had Platinum Tycoon too, which was a good horse up here. The other horse in my stable (Borlotti Beans) is also out of her, he is only two and still very green.”

While Ruby July already has a metropolitan win under her belt, Lee says Yes Dream’s considerable upside has him daring to dream.

“You don’t get too many win five straight, I had Regal Punch do it and he won the Queensland Cup,” he said.

“I can’t compare them yet, this horse is very versatile and he is improving all the time.

“Ruby July was very, very good at the beginning but she might be at her maximum now.”

Lee runs the iconic Pagoda Chinese Restaurant in Atherton and says he is unsure if he will make it to Ipswich on Saturday to watch Yes Dream aim up for six straight wins.

“I had it for 20-odd years and sold the business and kept the property, but after five years of retirement, I came back again,” he laughed.

“It keeps me busy enough.”

Yes Dream is on the third line of betting with TAB, currently rated at $6.50 chance.

Originally published as Restaurant owner Michael Lee looking to cook up huge unbeaten streak with Yes Dream at Ipswich

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