Thoughts on Today’s Runners

There are two runners from Sarsen Farm at Sandown Park today. First up is Seneca Chief in the 12.00. Adam McNamara is back in the irons for the five furlong handicap and the pair are drawn in stall 1. Whilst stall one isn’t the big advantage that it was a few years ago at the track, it does no harm. This is only Seneca Chief’s second run on the turf and he will need a career best. He is going nicely at home and there is no reason he shouldn’t carry on his recent progression. He had a bit of a moment in the stalls on his last intended start but a blind should ensure that behaviour is not repeated.

Seneca Chief at home under regular rider Damon Houlbrook

This is a tight little handicap with a few having run well recently in a race over course and distance that was slightly higher in grade, notably King Robert and Indian Raj however neither have got the job done for quite a while. The biggest danger could come from a trio of fillies. Thoughtfully was a gorgeous yearling and is having only her fourth start and has obviously had some issues to be so lightly raced however one would imagine that given the patience shown she has the ability to win at this level. Lorna Cole is capable at this level and although not always consistent is of interest. Shining is having her first run of the year and has had a wind-op after ending last year in slightly disappointing fashion but if that has put things right and she is ready to go could be competitive here.

Seneca Chief was bred and is owned by Gary and Lesley Middlebrook. The gelding is by Invincible Spirit, out of the Namid mare, Albertine Rose. He will be led up by Ilse Belien.

Our second runner of the day is Don’t Tell Claire in the 1.45pm. The filly is partnered with Liam Keniry and the pair have a fairly good draw in stall 7. Don’t Tell Claire has made a fine start to the season with three placed efforts in novice company and deserves a win against her name. She was a bit green on her first run on turf last time out and was the victim of some interference early in the race that lead to some cuts on her hind leg that required a bit of treatment and a couple of days off after the race. She has recovered well and is ready for her step into handicap company, she saw out seven furlongs well at Yarmouth so the stiffer track here should suit.

Don’t Tell Claire (left) under Adam McNamara working at home

The race looks a really open event, with a lot of unexposed horses in the field. Recent course and distance winner Colonel Whitehead is an obvious starting point, he appreciated the step up in distance to seven furlongs. What An Angel also has decent course form in a higher grade and can probably be forgiven a lesser effort on soft going last time out.

Don’t Tell Claire races for Andrew Stonehill. The filly is by Guitaifan, out of the Mount Nelson mare, Avenbury. She was purchased as a yearling by Daniel and Claire at the Goffs Yearling sale. Today, Don’t Tell Claire will be led up by Alice Roberts.