When Hong Kong businessman Leung Kai-fai put his hand up to buy a yearling son of super sire Danehill a few years back, he could scarcely have imagined the future he was unlocking for himself. This weekend, Leung is attending the Magic Millions Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast in Australia and if his prediction is borne out, he'll be buying two more young thoroughbreds. And at the New Zealand National Yearling Sale at the end of the month, the budget is for another two. That Danehill colt Leung bought with the help of Melbourne trainer Tony Vasil back in 2001 became Lucky Owners, the local hero of the $14 million Hong Kong Mile in December, 2003, and now a frontline stallion for superb Australian horse farm Widden Stud, the world's oldest family-owned thoroughbred enterprise. What started out as a one-horse purchase at the time of the William Inglis Australian Easter Sale four years ago is now a 35-animal enterprise under the umbrella name of Lucky Owners (HK) Limited. Leung's core business lies in complex hydrocarbons - oil, wax, petroleum and diesel fuel - but the only thing complex about his involvement in thoroughbreds is keeping up with it. So late last month, Leung announced the appointment of livewire Hong Kong racing journalist and television presenter, Jovy Chan Siu-yuk, as his bloodstock manager. 'Although this started out as a private interest, a hobby, it has grown so much since we signed the deal with Widden Stud to retire Lucky Owners there,' Leung explains. 'There is so much communication required, with trainers, bloodstock companies, stud farms and with partners in some of the horses, that I could not do it all. That's why I have asked Jovy to join us. She understands Hong Kong racing very well and understands pedigrees too. I think working in the bloodstock world, beyond Hong Kong, will be very good for her,' he says. What started out as a thirst for racing action has now become a passionate involvement in the business of breeding quality thoroughbreds as well. And he has one horse to thank for it. 'Lucky Owners, I owe everything to Lucky Owners,' Leung continued. 'Not only has he done wonderful things for me, like winning the Hong Kong Mile and Hong Kong Derby, but he has also converted my wife and son to horse racing. That makes my enjoyment of racing even greater now,' he says. While Mrs Leung Chung Sui Ling now loves her racing and the profile that came along with the success of Lucky Owners, their son Vincent has taken it one step further, joining his father in partnership in their next horse, Lucky Unicorn. Like most things in life, the Leung family association with Widden Stud was the product of a personal contact, in this case with Widden's Anthony Thompson. 'Anthony has given me some very good advice and we are now partners in some mares that are going to Lucky Owners,' said Leung. 'He has been very good to me and has helped in a number of areas. For selecting the right kind of mares that will suit Lucky Owners, Anthony's guidance has been very important. 'Because Lucky Owners is by Danehill from the Kaapstad mare Miss Priority, he has strong strains of top international sires Danzig and Sir Tristram in his pedigree. Thompson has advised Leung to be looking for fast, early-maturing fillies and mares by complimentary sire lines. 'We have two mares by Marscay, which should be very suitable with Lucky Owners, and we have been trying to get some Mr Prospector line mares, too. 'We already have mares by Snippets, Grand Lodge, Gone West and a granddaughter of the great Sunday Silence, through his unbeaten son Fuki Kiseki.' Don't think Leung's interest has switched entirely from the racetrack to the breeding shed because, like most Hong Kong devotees of the sport of kings, the racetrack is where all the excitement happens. And Leung loves to have a substantial wager on his horses when the right opportunity presents itself - his face lights up when discussing one of his future prospects and the anticipated punt. Apart from his Hong Kong interests, Leung has horses in training in Sydney with David Paine, Melbourne with Tony Vasil, two in England and two in France. He sees the Lucky Owners story in big-picture terms. 'I have been very careful to buy the right kinds of mares to send to Lucky Owners because I want him to succeed. I want his progeny to have excellent racing prospects. 'So far, he has made a great start. From his first season at Widden, he has more than 100 mares confirmed in foal. 'Now he has already arrived in England where he will serve the northern hemisphere spring season at Sandley Stud, at Dorset,' says Leung. 'If Lucky Owners succeeds as a sire, then eventually some of his progeny will come to Hong Kong to race and that will be a wonderful thing for the business. A Hong Kong Derby winner who becomes a major sire of winners elsewhere in the world, but especially Hong Kong. 'That would be good for everyone - good for the horse, good for me, good for my family and friends, and I'm sure the Hong Kong Jockey Club would be very pleased as well.'