Unless he can back it up with several more top-level performances, Combatant is not likely to be a top stallion prospect when he retires even with the Grade 1 on his resume. Unlike many other hard-knockers who get rolling late, however, he is both entire and possessed of a pedigree that may make him a little more attractive than most horses of this sort. A son of the excellent sire Scat Daddy, he is from the family of Fanfreluche, a champion on the race track in both the United States and Canada and one of the more prolific matriarchs of modern times.
A member of Northern Dancer's second crop, Fanfreluche was a good juvenile in her native Canada, winning three stakes races. At three she was first-rate. Her resume included the 1970 Alabama Stakes against the best American 3-year-old females, the Manitoba Centennial Derby and Quebec Derby against Canadian 3-year-old males, and the Benson & Hedges Invitational Handicap against open company. She set a Woodbine track record for 12 furlongs on dirt in the last-named race, and her overall record made her Horse of the Year in Canada as well as champion 3-year-old filly in both Canada and the United States (sharing the title with Office Queen in the latter country).
As good as she was as a racer, Fanfreluche was arguably even better as a broodmare. The Canadian Broodmare of the Year for 1978, she produced 18 named foals. 14 of them were winners. Her five stakes winners include Canadian champions L'Enjoleur, La Voyageuse, and Medaille d'Or, and no less than eight of her daughters appear as the first, second, or third dams of graded or Group stakes winners.
The most influential of Fanfreluche's daughters is Sir Ivor's stakes-winning daughter Grand Luxe, who is the second dam of Argentine champion sire Lode and Australian champion sire Flying Spur and the third dam of Australian champion sire Encosta de Lago. L'On Vite, a daughter of Secretariat, has also done the family proud, producing four stakes winners including multiple Group 1 winner Holy Roman Emperor. Her branch of the clan was recently represented by her great-grandson Sherwood Forest, winner of the 2020 New Zealand Derby (NZ-G1).
Slew and Easy, Fanfreluche's 1987 daughter by Seattle Slew, was not such a spectacular success, but she did come up with multiple Grade 2 winner Conserve (by Boundary) among her nine named foals. Equally important, she produced the winning Forty Niner filly Scads, whose unraced daughter Border Dispute (by Boundary) is the dam of both Combatant and English Group 3 winner Long Lashes (by Rock Hard Ten). Border Dispute's most recent foals are the 2018 American Pharoah filly Lisboa and a 2019 American Pharoah colt. She was bred to Mendelssohn for 2020.
Combatant is now one of three Grade 1 winners in the older male division owned by Hronis Racing and trained by Sadler, who would seem to have a strong hand for California's other two-turn events for older males later in the season. (Keeping them apart may be a problem, but it's a nice one to have.) Should the horse come through as more than a flash in the pan, it's nice to think that at least a little of his talent came from Fanfreluche, a gift to her breed who keeps on giving.