FAMILY means everything to Shannon O'Sullivan.
That is why, despite having three wins alongside her name from her last eight drives, the 22-year-old from Heathcote was just as, if not more, pleased for her brother Sean following his win aboard Realy Under Fire at Wedderburn on Sunday and for her dad, trotting legend Jim O'Sullivan, who trained a winner apiece at last Wednesday's meeting at Bendigo and Sunday's at Wedderburn.
"It's been pretty good at home the last few days - everyone's been getting a winner," O'Sullivan said.
"Two in a row for dad (before an eighth with Danman at Maryborough on Monday) is nothing to complain about."
A winning spree of sorts for Shannon O'Sullivan started at Bendigo last Wednesday aboard her father's horse Christmas Babe.
She followed up with another in her first drive for harness racing legend Lance Justice at Saturday night's metropolitan meeting at Bendigo with the difficult-to-handle Jean Luc in the NR 76 to 84 pace.
Two wins in four days became three in six when O'Sullivan piloted Petrea Bromac to her maiden win at Maryborough on Monday for her boss Kate Hargreaves.
Her win with Jean Luc came on a big stage, with the Bendigo Harness Racing Club playing host to its second metropolitan meeting in three weeks, this one highlighted by a pair of Group 1 races.
The six-year-old gelding overcame some pre-race mischief to show plenty of composure in mowing down Im Shadow Boxer (Ashleigh and James Herbertson) in the closing stages to record his 15th career win by a head.
"He was very keen and a bit of a handful before the race, but in the running he was really relaxed," O'Sullivan said.
"I'm not sure I would have been able to hold him if he had got really keen.
"That was my first time on him.
"I was pretty lucky, Lance had two in the race and Brad Chisholm picked the other one (Love Ina Chevy) as it went well for him last start, so Lance threw me on Jean Luc.
"He told me a week or two ago that he'd like to put me on a few horses, I wasn't sure just when.
"This way out worked out well. I'd love to get a few more drives for Lance."
A feature of the win with Christmas Babe was the revival of the former successful owner-trainer partnership between Alan Hunter and Jim O'Sullivan.
The pair enjoyed huge success in the 1980s, landing numerous Group One features, including the 1987 Inter Dominion with My Lightning Blue and multiple cups winner Quite Famous.
It was their first win together in 25 years.
"She's been really consistent," O'Sullivan said of the five-year-old mare, who has won three and been placed five times in her last 10 starts.
"She has really upped the ante in the fields she has been in; we've put her in higher classes as we think she has to go against those types of horses if she is going to be competitive enough down the track.
"She has really taken it in her stride and showed real improvement and is giving 110 per cent out there on the track.
"It's a great feeling sitting behind a horse like her, who is so honest."
Christmas Babe is co-owned with Hunter by Shannon and mum Terresa O'Sullivan.
O'Sullivan was rapt to continue the winning momentum with the four-year-old mare Petrea Bromac at Maryborough.
Only the last four of her 15 career starts have been for Hargreaves, with the former New Zealander putting the writing on the wall with a trio of placings at Mildura twice and Geelong before her breakthrough win on Monday.
The victory was the 88th of O'Sullivan's short career, edging her closer to the coveted 100-mark.
It's a milestone she hopes to knock over during the current season.
"It's a great feeling knowing I am getting close to losing my five-point claim, hopefully, the support can continue from trainers," she said.
Meanwhile, younger brother Sean notched up his fourth career win by partnering the horse he owns Realy Under Fire to success on Sunday at Wedderburn.
Sean has now won two races aboard the 11-year-old gelding, who is trained by his father.
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