TRAINER Shane Sanderson admits the decision to relocate his stable to Charlton earlier this year came with few obvious expectations.
But had he set himself any, it's likely he would have already exceeded those expectations.
A touch over six months since the family's arrival from Menangle in New South Wales, the stable has enjoyed plenty of success.
Their recent win with Vanquish Stride at Ouyen was the stable's 23rd since arriving in central Victoria in the week leading up to the Charlton Pacing Cup meeting on March 14.
Fittingly, the stable's first Charlton-based winner arrived at their first trip to the racetrack on cup day at Charlton, with Dikerry claiming the honours.
The winning tone has well and truly extended to Sanderson's children, in particular 18-year-old Ryan, who has quickly raced to 47 driving wins for the season and a string of career-firsts.
Younger sister Abby has also made her mark, picking up a trio of wins and more than a dozen placings in her first three months in the sulky at age 16.
Sanderson said he could not be happier with how the first six months had panned out for everyone in the family.
"There are no complaints here, we're very happy," he said.
"(In terms of expectations) I didn't really think too much about what might have happened once we got here.
"But we certainly got off to a great start. We probably hit the skids a bit there for a month or two and had a few rough ones, but we have started to go a bit better in the last few weeks.
"Getting a few better class of horses into the stable helps."
An immediate goal for the team will be knocking over their first metropolitan win from the new base.
Sanderson nominated recent acquisitions in Equity Stride and Platinum Stride as those most likely to make their impact at metro level.
The pair are among a sprinkling of Emilio Rosati-owned horses to have made their way to Charlton following the owner's split with the Anthony Butt-Sonya Smith training team.
Sanderson said he was grateful for the opportunity and support of such an influential owner.
While it wasn't on a horse trained by his father, Ryan has already ticked off his first metro driving win, at Group 3 level no less.
He notched the milestone by steering the Jason McNaulty-trained Travel Bug to victory in the $24,000 Aldebaran Park Touch Merchant Trotters Free For All (2150m) at Lord's Raceway in July.
A spectacular first six months for Ryan in Victoria has included his first country cup win at Ouyen in March aboard Blaster Ranger, in a race dominated by the stable, which produced not only the winner, but the third and fifth placegetters (Dikerry and Loorrim Creek).
Shane Sanderson is thrilled with both of his children's progress in the sulky.
"Like we (the stable) did, Ryan got off to a good start and about a month ago, before his (short) suspension, he was really going from strength-to-strength and getting himself on some nice quality horses," he said.
"Hopefully he can quickly pick up from where he left off.
"His Group 3 win is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our time here so far.
"And now Abby has come through and got her licence and got a couple of winners and is doing a good job.
"She just needs a few more opportunities, but I'm sure she will do a good job."
Equally as pleasing for Sanderson as a father has been the ease with which Ryan and Abby have settled into life at Charlton.
Abby became a fixture on the netball court for Charlton during the 2021 season, while Ryan played a handful of football games for the Blues when free of Saturday driving commitments.
Sanderson, who was desperately unlucky not to add to his win tally last week with a trio of seconds at Melton (Platinum Stride), Wagga Wagga (Whereyabintwistin) and Mildura (Vanquish Stride), said the smooth transition would not have been possible without the support of the Charlton harness racing fraternity and the wider community.
"They are good people here in Charlton," he said.
"The local trainers have been great in supporting the kids with drives.
"Even though we've only been here six months, they class us as locals and treat us accordingly."
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