Home » Best value bets and preview for Saturday February 24

Best value bets and preview for Saturday February 24

Matt Brocklebank has three Saturday selections and he’s backing a couple of horses to defy top weight on the valuable card at Kempton.


  • The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK and Ireland.
  • Value Bet tips are now available to qualified, logged-in readers through Sporting Life Plus, before the full column appears on the main Sporting Life website and App one hour later.
  • Following all Matt’s selections to recommended odds/stakes since taking over the column in June 2020 would have produced over 168pts in profit.

Value Bet tips: Saturday, February 24

1pt win Pentland Hills in 1.15 Kempton at 17/2 (Non Runner – going)

1pt win Prince Des Fichaux in 2.08 Newcastle at 18/1 (bet365)

1pt e.w. Sam Brown in 3.37 Kempton at 16/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3,4)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook


Run to the Hills

Some decent clashes on Saturday’s Kempton card and we could conceivably witness the emergence of a potential star as the very well-regarded Kalif Du Berlais looks to maintain his unbeaten record in the Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle.

Paul Nicholls’ horse will need to be above average to give the highly professional Givemefive 5lb and a beating, though, so it’s a race I’ll be watching with interest as Harry Derham’s runner isn’t quite a big enough price (best of 4/1 at the time of publication) to recommend as a bet.

I’d rather back a former juvenile champion at longer odds in the opening Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle, with Nicky Henderson’s 2019 Triumph Hurdle winner PENTLAND HILLS looking nicely placed back up in distance with Freddie Gordon taking 5lb off in the saddle.

Henderson also has No Ordinary Joe and Fantastic Lady in the race, with Nico de Boinville on the latter, but it’s Pentland Hills who looks in better nick after his back-to-form second when last seen at Doncaster in mid-December. He went up 2lb for that effort but obviously remains very well handicapped, having been just shy of 160 in the past, and the aborted Chepstow engagement (NR) last month was probably a sensible move as the ground was barely raceable that day.

Pentland Hills can cope with most conditions but he’ll be happier on this track which famously drains better than most.

Largy Poet is potentially short of a gear in this sort of company, while the well-supported Sea Invasion has to run from 1lb ‘wrong’ on handicap debut which clearly isn’t ideal. The main danger could be the Derham-trained Joker De Mai, who is unexposed, on an upward curve and seemingly in need of this longer trip after his Exeter second to Issam.

Play it again, Sam

The other one to keep on side at Kempton is SAM BROWN – also top weight – in the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase.

His trainer Anthony Honeyball has two others in here in Blackjack Magic and Forward Plan, with plenty to recommend the pair of them too, but outsider Sam Brown has a touch of class and reminded us all of the fact by winning the Veterans’ Handicap Chase Final which was switched to Warwick after Sandown was abandoned last month.

He’d hinted at a resurgence when fifth over a much shorter trip at Cheltenham’s December meeting and the addition of a visor really sparked him back to his best at Warwick.

Pitched into the Grade 2 Denman Chase at Newbury last time, he went off strangely short in the market that day (SP of 11/2) but, in fairness, he ran a belter, just getting outpaced after a mistake five out before boxing on at the one pace.

Beaten less than 10 lengths by genuine Gold Cup contender Shishkin at the line, with pretty solid yardstick and 165-rated Protektorat just five lengths ahead of him in third, there’s no question Sam Brown ran right up to scratch and it’s got to be encouraging that Honeyball is happy to turn him out again back in handicap company just 14 days on.

Admittedly, all four of this horse’s chase wins have come on left-handed tracks, but he’s not had many tries going this way around and was running an almighty race under a big weight before falling two fences from the finish at last season’s Punchestown Festival.

He’s not fully exposed in the visor and I reckon he’ll give Johnny Burke a good spin from what I hope could be a prominent early pitch.

A Prince among men

Newcastle’s Betting.bet Eider Handicap Chase is going to be run in very testing conditions and, if it wasn’t already, I think that throws the four and a quarter-mile marathon wide open.

Anglers Crag and Fenland Tiger are pretty obvious market leaders on recent evidence but PRINCE DES FICHAUX finished only half a length behind the latter here last time and I’m not sure Ewan Whillans’ horse should be such a big price, particularly in comparison with the second-favourite.

Granted, Prince Des Fichaux is technically a couple of pounds worse off with Fenland Tiger as he’s running from 4lb out of the handicap in Saturday’s contest, but that looks well factored into the market as he is essentially an improving stayer with just the six chase starts to his name.

He’s only had four runs for Whillans too, having signed off for Sam Thomas (and owner Dai Walters) with a victory at Ffos Las last April.

He’s seemingly taken a little while to settle in but the Newcastle run late last month – wearing blinkers for just the second time in his life – was right up with the Ffos Las effort and he could even have won had he not made a mess on the final obstacles that day.

He was sticking on right at the death, with 21 lengths back to the third home, and if that turns out to be the key piece of form then I suspect we could be on the right horse at the prices.

Published at 1600 GMT on 23/02/24



Safer gambling

We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.

Further support and information can be found at begambleaware.org and gamblingtherapy.org