With five wins from nine starts, Kuroshio gelding Maritana is on track to become the best horse raced and bred by long-time breeder, Dr Greg Anderson.
Anderson, who was club doctor for Werribee Football Club for 25 years, has been breeding horses since the 1970s.
Maritana, trained at Cranbourne by Pakenham South horse breaker Julien Welsh, has won his past two starts, both at Mornington, and appears capable of claiming a better quality of race.
The five-year-old’s record is five wins – and no minor placings.
Anderson also raced Maritana’s dam Besant (Bianconi/Lost Horizons), a winner of two races for trainer Michael Kent.
“On her track work Besant should have been a black type mare but she never reproduced her black type work in her races,” Anderson said.
“But Michael Kent was very glad to have her in the stable because the other horses at least tried to keep up with her in the track work.
“She had enthusiasm and this is what this horse has as well.”
Anderson said he’s bred “heaps” of horses and has had a few metropolitan winners.
The wins included a Listed victory with Pyrrolic in the Creswick Stakes and the gelding finished with $200,000 in prizemoney when his career finished in 2016.
“You could have put a nought on the end of the prizemoney if he’d stayed sound,” Anderson said.
“Unfortunately he had a wind operation and in my opinion you have a window of opportunity of about 12 months after that operation because the fibrosis sort of narrows the airway again and then the horse becomes prone to bleeding which is what happened to him. He bled terribly twice at the races and that was the end of him as a racehorse.”
Anderson bred Pyrrolic, by Teofilo, from his mare Guillem (Jeune/Lost Horizons) which he also bred and raced.
“Pyrrolic won down the straight six at Flemington and you wouldn’t expect that from a horse by Teofilo,” he said.
Anderson is still breeding and two of his three broodmares have just foaled and he plans to again send them to Spendthrift Stud stallions this season.
One of his broodmares, Hennybodys (Henny Hughes/Guillem), is a city winning and a half-sister to Pyrrolic.
“She was a tough horse who won at Sandown with a real good turn of foot,” Anderson said.
“She was going to win again and but chipped a bone. We found two bone chips and she’d been racing with one, but she was tough.
“Hennybodys is by Henny Hughes (USA) who actually had a Group winner in America, but they didn’t do much in Australia.”
Anderson said another of his broodmares, Porte Cochere (Bianconi/Barford) has produced a lovely Bon Hoffa yearling.
“I bred Barford, her mother (Mattishall), the grandmother (Dunbarton) and all that right through,” he said.
“I have been breeding horses since the 1970s and I have found the good ones break down and then when you have a good one returning a profit and something goes amiss, you persevere and manage to spend those profits before they’re retired.”
Anderson said he’d always liked Kuroshio (Exceed and Excel/Arctic Drift) as a racehorse.
“I got a free service from Darley so Maritana is the result of a free service,” he said.
“That was nice of them. I’d used their stallions exclusively for years so they rewarded me with the service which would have cost me $8000.”
Anderson said he breeds to race as he believes it would be difficult for someone like him to make a profit at the sales with a homebred.
“That’s unless you cracked it for a really good broodmare or a good racehorse that turns out to be a good broodmare,” he said.
“We have the broodmares now, but we have lots of other fillies that did not measure up but these ones are good horses that for one reason or another their careers weren’t successful or extensive as they might have been.
“It’s good fun.
“Maritana has won five races and he has never run second and has never run third which says something about him.”
Another of Anderson’s broodmares is named Plus Effronte (by Street Boss) and is out of another mare he bred, La Carmencita (Rancho Ruler/Tuddenham).
“La Carmencita is of course the heroine of Bizet’s opera Carmen and she was a very brazen lass,” he said.
Anderson is sending two of the mares to Spendthrift’s Overshare and another to their new stallion Vino Rosso (USA).
“And Porte Cochere has just had an Overshare foal and we have got two to Jimmy Creed, with one about to foal, but he hasn’t set the world on fire yet,” he said.
“We also have a two-year-old filly by Helmet out of Hennybodys and we have hopes that that she might be all right.”
Anderson said he got involved in races in the 1950s, initially with the jumpers because they virtually went around every week and he could keep track of them easily.
Anderson recalls the first mare he bought, for about $100 at the sales, was called Dunbarton by Mironton from Princess Blink (Lighthouse/Pandie Pride) which he mated with Small Time in the 1977 season which produced Bergh Apton.
“Dunbarton was from Mironton’s first crop and he sired a few good horses,” Anderson said.
“Dunbarton was handy on the track. She won her maiden with Wayne Trealor and then won another race at Wangaratta and she injured a fetlock at Benalla and never raced again.
“But she was the forebearer of quite a number of winners.”
Anderson predicts Maritana will win at least 10 races.
“If he wins 10, he will have won one more than my horse called Picquart by Jugah which I bred and raced and he won nine races (69: 9-6-7),” he said.
“If he does win 10 races, he’ll be the first horse I’ve had that’s won 10 races.
“If he stays sound, he’ll do it.
“What I liked about his last win was that he won that race without hitting top speed and he was still accelerating when he hit the line.
“I hope this horse can get black type and he needs to improve a little bit I suppose.
“The chap who trains him (Welsh) is a good horseman and has broken-in my horses. He has done a good job with him.”
Anderson, who has been retired since 2016, lives in Geelong but had his practice in Werribee.
“It’s a hobby that just got out of control,” he laughed.
“I started following racing when I was about 10 and would sleep in of a Saturday morning and my father would bring me in the racing page out of The Sun which was delivered to us.
“I was a better judge of form then than I am now.
As for his mare Besant, he sold her a few years ago.
Welsh, who races Maritana with his family and Anderson, described the gelding as a nice little horse that’s capable of winning a good race.