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Thursday’s Lucky 15 – Our UK Racing Best Bets On February 24

Horse Racing Tips on Thursday, February 24

There are four meetings spread across Britain on Thursday, February 24th with the action coming from Huntingdon, Newcastle, Sedgefield and Southwell. Our expert tipster has produced their top tips across the cards, which make up our advised Thursday Lucky 15.

Makyon (12:52 Southwell) 

The first division of the Apprentice Handicap looks wide open on first viewing, and it could pay to take a chance on one of the likely outsiders in this particular contest. MAKYON hasn’t shown much on the track since joining Mark Usher but has hinted that a step back up in trip could bring about a return to form after being outpaced over the minimum trip the last two occasions.

The five-year-old missed the break on penultimate start over 5f at the Nottinghamshire venue but stayed on well in the closing stages under jockey Jane Elliot to be beaten just over 2l at the line. 

A smarter break saw Makyon up with the pace from an early stage last time out in first-time cheekpieces, but Mark Usher’s charge gradually faded after being no match for speedier rivals in the closing stages. 

Makyon should appreciate the step back up to 7f on the evidence of those latest outings at Southwell and in a race lacking much depth, he could outrun his price with the experienced apprentice George Rooke set to ride. 

Samatian (1:00 Huntingdon)

This is a very modest handicap hurdle contest but perhaps Kim Bailey’s SAMATIAN could spring a surprise on his first start beyond 2miles. 

The five-year-old was beaten out of sight on his opening hurdle outing in maiden company at Uttoxeter last October, and although Samatian faced a similar fate in two novice events at Wincanton and Ludlow, those efforts came against some fairly useful performers including the likes of Nicky Henderson’s Balco Coastal and Paul Nicholls’ Knapper Hill. 

Kim Bailey’s charge made his handicap debut off just 90 at Doncaster last time out over 2miles but failed to land a telling blow after racing keen throughout and weakening out of contention two from the finish. 

Samatian is bred to relish a stamina test in time and it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see him fare significantly better now upped in trip by connections. The handicapper has dropped him a further 4lb for his latest Doncaster run and with the yard ticking over nicely in recent weeks, Samatian is certainly worth supporting on Thursday at decent odds.

Kim Bailey has his string in fine form currently and will be expecting Samatian to go close on Thursday.

Kim Bailey has his string in fine form currently and will be expecting Samatian to go close on Thursday.

Joie De Vivre (2:55 Sedgefield)

JOIE DE VIVRE was an impressive winner over course and distance at the start of the campaign and after a recent return to form at Newcastle last time out, connections will be confident the seven-year-old can return to the winning ways from a 1lb higher mark. 

After some below-par performances since last visiting the winner’s enclosure, Joie De Vivre was firmly back on track earlier this month in a first-time visor at Newcastle, catching the eye throughout the two-mile contest and staying on strongly under jockey Callum Bewley to go down by just 0.5 at the line.

The seven-year-old should appreciate the step back up in distance on Thursday and if the visor has the desired effect once more, Joie De Vivre could be tough to stop in her bid for a second course and distance success. 

Diakosaint (4:05 Sedgefield) 

There was significant market support behind Philip Kirby’s DIAKOSAINT last time out at Bangor and despite being no match for odds-on favourite Green Vault on that occasion, the seven-year-old ran his best race since joining the yard and could have plenty more to come on his second start after a 112-day layoff. 

Although beaten just over 13l in third at Bangor, the seven-year-old was considerately handled in the closing stages by jockey Sam Coltherd when all winning chance had gone but still finished nicely clear of his remaining rivals.

Stamina shouldn’t be much of an issue as Diakosaint tackles a marathon trip for the first time on Thursday and whilst he still has some questions to answer at this stage of his career, he remains very much unexposed and is more appealing than others in this modest contest.