Haras de Colleville stallion Kendargent (by Kendor) has been an unexpected hit at stud, and although none of his 16 stakes winners has won at the highest level, it seems likely that it is just a matter of time before his first Group 1 star is crowned.
He already has two pattern winners in 2017 and it is possible that either, or both, could fill that gap on his record. One is the dual Group 3 scorer Jimmy Two Times, who finished third in last year's Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest, and the other is Soleil Marin.
Godolphin's colt was bred by Ecurie Peregrine SAS, he is trained by Andre Fabre, and he was winning for the fourth time from five starts when beating his odds-on stable companion Akihiro by a head in the Group 3 Prix Noailles over 10 and a half furlongs on good ground at Chantilly on Sunday.
Soleil Marin was fourth in a seven-furlong Clairefontaine maiden on his debut in August, two months before a narrow success over nine and a half furlongs on the polytrack at Deauville.
His final start at two was an odds-on seven-length score over 10 furlongs on heavy ground at Saint-Cloud in November and his return to action last month was in a listed contest over a half-furlong farther at the same venue, which he won by one and three-quarter lengths.
The colt is a half-brother to a winner and his thrice-successful dam, Sousmarine (by Montjeu), is a half-sister to Group 3 Prix de Lutece third Investissement (by Singspiel). Their dam, Underwater (by Theatrical), was runner-up in the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret, another edition of which was among the three races won by her half-sister Legerete (by Rahy).
Those wins also included the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont, she was third in both the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera and Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, and her progeny include Pilote (by Pivotal), a listed scorer whose pattern placings include the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano and Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam.
Underwater and Legerete are among eight winners from 10 foals out of a one-time scorer called Sea Hill (by Sea Hill) and the octet also includes Icelips (by Unbridled), a filly who made her name at stud.
Her son Numb Lips (by Olmodavor) was a stakes winner in California, daughter Iron Lips (by Iron Mask) won the Group 3 Prix Eclipse and finished third in the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte, but the best of her offspring is Falco (by Pivotal), the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) scorer who has sired blacktype winners on the flat and over obstacles.
Sea Hill was a half-sister to Group 1 Prix Lupin winner and classic sire Groom Dancer (by Blushing Groom) and her siblings also include Featherquest (by Rainbow Quest). That filly was only a minor winner but she became the dam of classic-placed Group 1 star Plumania (by Anabaa) and of Group 2 Prix de Royallieu scorer Balladeuse, whose daughter Left Hand (by Dubawi) won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille and was runner-up in Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) last year.
The fifth dam of Soleil Marin is, therefore, Lady Berry (by Violon d'Ingres), the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak heroine who became one of those special mares that produce at least three individual Group 1-winning progeny.
Le Nain Jeune (by Pharly) won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris, Indian Rose (by General Holme) won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille, and Vert Amande (by Kenmare) won the Group 1 Prix Ganay.
Soleil Marin's record to date suggests that he is a high-class middle-distance colt in the making, although that of his sire raises a question as to how far he might stay: his progeny tend to be sprinters and milers. It is possible, therefore, that Sunday's trip may be as far as he wants to go.
With at least some degree of inbreeding to the most dominant and popular sires appearing in the first four or five generations of the pedigrees of so many leading horses, and sometimes closer than that, it is important that alternative lines emerge and develop.
It is hard for an unfashionably-bred horse to get the sort of opportunities afforded to his more regally-related cohorts, but once he has proved his worth, that should change. There are no guarantees that the flashier mates will 'click' as effectively as his supposedly lesser ones did, but if he can do at least as well with that stronger support then there is the potential for that horse to play an important role within the bloodstock industry.
Linamix (by Mendez) was a striking example, but at least he had a classic-winning career of his own to help him get started. His maternal grandson Kendargent (by Kendor), on the other hand, did not win even a listed race. He was beaten by a head in the Group 3 Prix Paul de Moussac over a mile at Chantilly as a three-year-old, which remained his only pattern placing.
A month after that narrow defeat he finished fourth behind Stormy River in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat over the same course and distance, but, of course, that fine effort did not count for blacktype, even though it was pretty much the highlight of his career.
He took up stallion duties in 2008, and such is the reputation that this Haras de Colleville stallion has built as a blacktype sire that his fee increased from €1,000 in 2011 to €4,000 in 2012, increased again to €6,000 in 2013, and then jumped up to €15,000 in 2014. He has stood the past two seasons for €18,000.
A total of 26 of his offspring have earned of blacktype, nine of those have won at listed level, and five have tasted pattern race success at least once.
Restidargent (dam by Montjeu) won the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte and Group 3 Prix d'Arenberg as a juvenile and was later third in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Kendam (dam by Indian Rocket) won the Group 3 Prix Eclipse, notched-up a string of pattern placings, most notably third to star Irish gelding Gordon Lord Byron in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, and these two fillies came from their sire's first crop.
Kenhope (dam by Chato) beat Tasaday by a length in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte, chased home Sky Lantern in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes, was third to Elusive Kate in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild and fourth (no blacktype) to La Collina in the Group 1 Matron Stakes. She was also placed in the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham and in the Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon, and she represents his second crop.
Last year's Group 3 Prix Texanita scorer Goken (dam by Indian Rocket) was only beaten by a length and a quarter when third to Profitable in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, and the fifth of the Kendargent pattern winners is the Andre Fabre-trained three-year-old Jimmy Two Times.
Bred by the partnership of Francis Teboul and Jean Boniche, the grey colt was stakes-placed over six furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte as a juvenile and kicked off his current campaign with a head defeat by the subsequent Group 1 star Quiet Reflection in the Group 3 Prix Sigy over the same trip on heavy ground at Chantilly in April.
He tried a mile and a huge step up in class at Deauville a month later, but finished down the field behind The Gurkha. Since that outing in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), he has run twice more at the same venue and he is due to make his next start there too.
First, he easily won the Listed Prix Marchand d'Or over six and a half furlongs and then he added the Group 3 Prix de la Porte Maillot over a half-furlong farther. The colt is due to return to the highest level on Sunday when he tackles the Group 1 LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest, over the same trip as his listed race success, and his future entries include the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot in October.
He has won four of his eight starts, including that pattern victory, but although he may already have generated some interest as a prospective stallion, any wins or placings at Group 2 and Group 1 level would enhance his appeal, and as the distaff side of his pedigree could be described as being unexciting, he will need those CV enhancements.
An €85,000 Arqana Deauville October Sale graduate, Jimmy Two Times is the third foal out of Steel Woman (by Anabaa), a one-time scorer whose dam, Saperlipoupette, was both talented and prolific. The best of her seven wins came in a Group 3 contest over 11 furlongs at Hamburg, the standout effort among 17 places was her third to Lomita in the Group 2 Premio Lydia Tesio three months later, and as she is a daughter of Highest Honor, her grandson is inbred 3x4 to that horse's sire, Kenmare (by Kalamoun). He is also inbred 4x4 to Gay Mecene (by Vaguely Noble).
A half-sister to the pattern-placed triple winner Barouf (by Kenmare), Saperlipoupette is out of the eight-times scorer Emmanuelle (by Margouillat). That mare's siblings included the French listed scorers Solido (by Solicitor) and Envie De Rire (by Trepan), the latter won two listed races in 1984, before crossing the Atlantic, and later achieved a career-best performance of third in the Grade 1 Ramona Handicap.
Their siblings also include the dual hurdles winner Escomptee (by Roi De Rome), and what makes her noteworthy is that she is the grandam of 2015's Grade 3 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle scorer Qualando (by Lando).
With all of this taken into consideration, it would appear likely that Jimmy Two Times owes his speed to his sire, Kendargent, and to his broodmare sire, Anabaa (by Danzig). It remains to be seen just how good he is, but he appears to be a highly talented young sprinter who is on the upgrade.