FOR Shane Sanderson and his young family, Charlton Cup day in 2021 was an occasion to savour.
Newly-arrived in town, the former Menangle trainer struck pay dirt on his new home track with a winner with only his second Victorian starter in Dikerry.
It was the perfect welcoming gift and the start of a brilliant run of success to kick-start life in Charlton, with nine winners from his first 22 starters.
Two of those came the following Sunday at Ouyen when he took out the $14,500 pacing cup with Blaster Ranger, while also supplying the third and fifth placegetters in the race (Dikerry and Loorrim Creek).
Sanderson hopes to mark the one-year anniversary with more success this Charlton Cup day on Sunday, with Platinum Stride the standout chance among his three starters.
The four-year-old gelding is backing up after his win in last Sunday's Birchip Pacing Cup., a race which provided Sanderson with one of his most sentimental moments in harness racing.
Not only was 18-year-old son Ryan in the sulky for the win, but 16-year-old daughter Abby was not far behind in second aboard Cee Cee In America, who is trained by good friend and Charlton Harness Racing Club president Joe Thompson.
It was the latest instalment in the friendly rivalry enjoyed by the siblings, who have now quinellad multiple races.
"That was good to see - they've done it quite a few times now," the proud father said.
"Abby's got him a couple of times at Mildura and Ryan has done it two or three times around the place as well.
READ MORE: Abby gets a couple back on big brother
"It was a proud moment."
Sanderson would not be adverse to see the same scenario prevail at Charlton, with Platinum Stride and Cee Cee In America again going head-to-head in the NR 57 to 68 pace, with both siblings retaining their drives.
"It's a slightly harder race for Platinum Stride. Just from the draw it's harder, but I wouldn't think he' be too far away," he said.
"Last week was a nice run. He was probably expected to beat that lot, but he certainly did it well.
"As for the others on Sunday, Nero Stride has run into one of Emma Stewart's (Mister Eighty One), so he could possibly run second.
"Timely Sovereign has drawn badly in a big field, which makes it hard. He's being gone quite well, but he's going to need a lot of luck."
Ryan will drive Nero Stride, while Abby will take the reins on Timely Sovereign.
Reflecting on the past 12 months, Sanderson could not be happier with how things have evolved for the entire family and continues to be grateful for the support of the racing club and community.
READ MORE: Ryan Sanderson scores first Group 3 win
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