Mare of the Month – KENZADARGENT

Martin StevensMare of the Month

Mare of the Month by Martin Stevens


9yo grey mare by Kendargent out of Quiza Bere, by Epistolaire

Chasemore Farm founder Andrew Black is a keen student of genetics and he also enjoys doing things a bit differently. So it’s no surprise he was keen to lay his hands on Kenzadargent when she came up for auction at the Tattersalls December Breeding-Stock Sale in 2015.

The grey mare, now aged nine, is by the French-based stallion Kendargent, who is something of an outlier. He failed to win at stakes level during his racing career and rose to fame by supplying numerous black-type horses in his small early crops, which were the result of mainly modest mares sent to him by his owner Guy Pariente.

Kendargent’s covering fee rose from a measly €1,000 in his first years at Haras de Colleville to a high of €22,000, and his status as one of the leading lights of the Normandy stallion ranks is secure. At the time of writing he has been represented by 32 stakes winners including Goken (now a promising first-season sire himself), Kenhope and Restiadargent, who were all Group 1-placed at Royal Ascot.

Kendargent’s maternal pedigree offers something a little out of the ordinary, too. It is very gallic, as he is by Kendor out of Pax Bella, a daughter of Linamix related to Japanese Grade 2 winner Cantabile, US Grade 3 scorer Diamond Tycoon and Prix du Jockey Club hero Polytain.

Kenzadargent's winning dam Quiza Bere is also in possession of an outcross pedigree with a strong French flavour. She is by Epistolaire, a Group 2-winning son of Alzao who sired only 145 foals across seven crops, 22 of whom were winners.

Quiza Bere is a half-sister to Saint-Cloud Listed winner Bartex and to the dam of French-born Canadian International third Flamboyant. She is out of Belisonde, a daughter of Gay Mecene from the family of dual Prix de l’Opera victress Athyka and her US Grade 1-winning son Atticus.

The result of Quiza Bere being mated with Kendargent is that Kenzadargent has a pedigree free of stallions that are otherwise ubiquitous across Europe - the likes of Sadler’s Wells, Danehill, Green Desert, Storm Cat and Mr Prospector. Rather unusually, she is inbred to the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Gay Mecene.

With Kenzadargent having such an unusual family background, it was no shock that it took Bertrand Le Metayer only €8,000 to secure her as a yearling. However, it didn't take her long to show that she had inherited genes that enabled her to be a high-class athlete, even if they had been passed down by less familiar ancestors.

She won the Listed Prix des Jouvenceaux et des Jouvencelles and ran a fair fifth in the Group 3 Prix d’Aumale when in the care of Jean-Marc Capitte at two, and was switched to Jean-Claude Rouget for her three-year-old career. In that Classic year she finished placed in three Group races - the Prix des Reservoirs, Prix Vanteaux and Prix de Sandringham - and then she switched stables again.

Now trained by Chad Brown in the US, she added a victory in the Listed Miss Liberty Stakes and a third in the Grade 3 Eaton Town Stakes for her new connections. At the end of her four-year-old season she returned to Europe for her date with the auctioneer at Tattersalls, at which point Andrew identified her as a desirable breeding prospect due to that unusual pedigree and smart race record and so bought her for 210,000gns.

Andrew’s calculations have proven correct, as Kenzadargent now rates as one of the most exciting broodmares at Chasemore Farm.

BRAD THE BRIEF (Dutch Art x Kenzadargent)
Her first foal, the three-year-old Dutch Art gelding Brad The Brief, is rising through the sprinting ranks for Tom Dascombe and carried the Chasemore colours to victory in the Listed Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket in August. Her second offspring, meanwhile, is a two-year-old Frankel colt who was bought by Amanda Skiffington for €500,000 at Arqana last year and has been given the name Taipan and sent to Jessica Harrington. His debut is eagerly awaited.
TAIPAN (Frankel x Kenzadargent) at the Arqana August Yearling Sale 2019