Of these 3 owner-breeders Cliveden Stud had very much the best of it in 2018. Horseplay (now at stud I hope) won the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks as well as a few other Group placings. She hopefully will turn out to be a lucky and useful mare for the stud. This year is going to be quieter as there were no yearling fillies in 2018 and all the colts were sold (more of them later). One sad part of 2018 for this stud was the loss of a young mare called Concise (by Lemon Drop Kid out of Cut Short) and their star mare Independence. This Selkirk mare had produced two Group winners and was the only relation of Derby winner Reference Point in the stud. Though she had daughters, two were sold as yearlings and another, Singersongwriter, died after producing just one filly. That filly, Melodies, remains in training this year so there’s hope the family will be retained in the stud. Melodies put in some reasonable performances last year but her season was limited by an injury. She looks as if a mile suits her and Dunlop will be looking to get some black-type. Dunlop trains Cliveden’s only other horse in training and that is the unraced 3yo, the purchased Instantaneous, who just happens to be from the same Reference Point family (she shares with Melodies the same ancestor Yukon Hope who was a daughter of Reference Point’s half-sister Sahara Desert (by Green Desert). By Lethal Force, this filly is unlikely to stay beyond 7-8f. Cliveden have plenty of sold horses running this year and the best of the 3yos is probably Rux Power (who’s a Kingman filly out of Cut Short) and so is a half-sister to Brevity. She looked very promising when 2nd at Glorious Goodwood and was then not seen again. She won a 7f (aw) maiden last week in good style and she’ll go forward from that. A mile should be ideal. This filly’s younger brother was sold and is trained by Hannon. He’s called Keep it Brief (by Muharrar) and hopefully will advertise the family. Independence’s sold 2yo is called Border Crossing (by Oasis Dream) and is with Fabre. Another sold 2yo is an unnamed Australia colt out of the slightly disappointing Super Sleuth (whose dam is a half sister to Cut Short). The stud/owner have 6 yearlings, 3 of whom are fillies (including Concise’s sole foal by Iffraj). So 2020 may be a more interesting year for the stud’s runners. However there may be some celebrations to be had this year. Gillian, Lady Howard de Walden’s stud may be hanging by the thread of one mare. Gravitation is well bred being by Galileo out of a ) and looked to be a useful mare early on. But last years 2yo and 3yos were extremely poor. This year she has a well-named 2yo colt by Mastercraftsman called Grinling. It would be good to see him do well. I say may be hanging because she may have a daughter of Gravitation called Gemina at the stud but I’m not sure. Difficult for me to discern before November. So with slim numbers for the above two owner-breeders it is to be hoped that Mark Dixon’s Felucca (more correctly Felsetta) mares keep this thread on the map. Last year was a bit of a washout (if you don’t count Thomas Hobson) with their being only one winner, and that being in a bumper. The biggest disappointment was Oaks winner Talent’s first foal Ambition (by Dubawi) who did not seem to grow and was sold at the December sales as an unraced 2yo. Part-owner Rowsell bought her and apparently she’s been sent to France for her 3yo season. But 2019 has already produced a winner for Dixon with his part-owned Little Rock taking his maiden. His now deceased dam, Lakatoi, was 1 of only 2 mares he owned who did not trace back to Oaks winner Bireme’s daughter Yawl. She does have a 2yo filly this year and that is a filly, Punting Other than Little Rock, there are two 3yo fillies of which much is hoped. The best one should be Lara, who is by Australia out of the Danehill Dancer mare La Spezia, and so a half-sister to Thomas Hobson. Beckett trains her and she may be a staying filly to keep an eye on. The other 3yo is by Mukadramah out of the other non-Yawl mare, Jump Ship, who traces back to a full-sister to Yawl. This final foal of Jump Ship is called Waterfall and is in training with Lucy Wadham. Probably no world-beater but Wadham does well with the horses she trains whether over the jumps or on the flat and I can see her getting a race out of Waterfall. The 2yos are distinctly interesting. Top of the class must be Deft, who is Prowess’s latest foal and being by Dubawi a well-bred one. She is of course a half-sister to Talent and is in training with Beckett. I’d expect to see her out September time, as her sisters have been. Talent’s 2nd foal, Dash to Fame, was sent to the Sales but bought-in by the joint-owners for 325,000gns. This Dansili colt is to be trained by Simon Crisford I hear and it is to be hoped that keeping this expensive colt pays off. Other than the filly Punting, there is another colt called Away to Sea (by Born to Sea) who’s a half-sister to Thomas Hobson and likely to be seen as a 3yo rather than a 2yo. Dixon needs a good 2019, and it’s started well. Some nice yearlings are in the wings, with there being amongst them a full-sister to Talent, and a Dubawi filly out of Talent herself. It remains to be seen whether these are retained or sold. An outfit like this needs to sell some big-ticket yearlings now and again to keep the ship afloat. Two years ago they sold, the now 3yo filly, King Power for 2,750,000gns and it will do Dixon and his part-owners the world of good to see this once-raced filly get some black-type this season. Apparently she is showing some ability on the gallops.