HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETER JAMES BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP Tips (Race 5)
Gosford Value Bet - Race 5 No. 6 Savvy Valentino
Honest without winning has summed the preparation so far for Savvy Valentino who is hard fit now with three staying runs under his belt and since stepping up past ten furlongs, hasn't had a great deal of luck.
Following a midfield finish over the mile, the son of Savabeel went straight to the 2300m at Newcastle on Boxing Day and due a slack early tempo, attempted a wide and sustained run from the rear where he understandably peaked on that effort at the 200m.
He followed that with an honest fourth at the Warwick Farm midweeks when not quite letting down on a Heavy 8 and via his latest attempt at Kembla Grange, arguably should've won but was robbed of momentum at a key stage when blocked for a run in the straight, then was working home against the wider pattern of that event.
CENTRAL COAST GRANITE BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Gosford Next Best Bet - Race 6 No. 1 Belieber
An interesting addition to the Anthony Mountney stable is this ex-Waterhouse & Bott runner that sold via Inglis Digital, fetching $300,000 in the December Online Auction of 2020 and was last seen midfield, albeit well beaten in the Listed Gosford Guineas.
The two trials leading into this campaign were outstanding where he ran comfortably the fastest 735m heat on October 12 (bettering the open trial by more than three lengths on the clock) and following a second trial win, took out an 1100m Wyong Maiden first-up in soft fashion, leading throughout and recording a slick last 600m of 33.18 in the process.
Belieber has been freshened-up and trialled on January 13 for the new yard, winning the fastest 800m heat at Kembla Grange on January 13 and back to a Provincial 64, is the one to catch up under Winona Costin, who is at her best when aboard a front-runner.
SNEDDON BROS CLASS 1 HANDICAP Tips (Race 7)
Gosford Best Bet - Race 7 No. 7 French Bonnet
It's a handy enough Class 1 to end the Gosford meeting on January 27 but I suspect this three-year-old is the best galloper in the field going forward and she can continue to progress here following a dominant Maiden win at start two.
Sharing the same striking grey looks of her sire; Puissance de Lune, French Bonnet was an eye-catcher on debut where after missing the start in that 1000m contest, was under pressure and spotting them a big start before rattling home late for third then saluted at Newcastle by a big margin on Boxing Day following that.
With the gap between runs, local trainer Kim Waugh has kept her ticking over via a soft trial on January 19 and given this filly is quite versatile, it gives in-form jockey Tommy Berry plenty of options early from barrier six.