Jamie Thomsen clinched a home track breakthrough at Hawkesbury on Thursday then dedicated the victory to his late uncle.
Thomsen, a young trainer making his way in the industry, won the Blakes Marine Maiden Handicap (1800m) with $26 chance Just Two Vees ($40 on TAB.com.au). His thoughts immediately turned to his uncle Rex Ryan, who passed away earlier in the week.
Left: Just Two Vees (Jay Ford) powers down the outside to land the prize at Hawkesbury. Image by - Bradley Photographers
“I would like to dedicate this win to Rex,” Thomsen said last night. “Rex was a great supporter of my father (now retired multiple Group 1 winning trainer Bob Thomsen) and followed his career closely.
“He has also been a keen supporter of mine, and watched my first provincial win with Praise Songs at Gosford on Anzac Day. He also told me Just Two Vees, after he had run second at Gosford a fortnight ago, would win his next start.”
Start number 13 certainly wasn’t unlucky for Just Two Vees, who had managed three placings prior to yesterday’s success. Given a superb ride by Jay Ford, the four-year-old won a stirring battle over the last 200m with runner-up Lucky Tiger ($13).
Thomsen trains Just Two Vees (Venice Beach-Viego) – hence his name – for a syndicate headed by former trainer and now head breaker for Godolphin, Scott Eeles.
“Scott trained Viego, and won five races with her, including three in town,” he said. “He bred Just Two Vees by mating her with Venice Beach, a beautifully-bred unraced horse by Redoute’s Choice.”
Thomsen initially considered Just Two Vees – who was placed at his first start at Wyong at lengthy odds before falling at Canberra at his next outing – would be a sprinter like his mother: “But when I stepped him up to 1600m at Hawkesbury last November and he ran a close second (to Cambage), I told Scott I felt we should be trying him as a stayer,” he explained.
Just Two Vees was Thomsen’s third winner. His first was Maltese Knight at Moruya in February last year. Winning rider Ford said the gelding would handle longer distances once he learned to relax: “He was very keen early, and he did a good job to win as the runner-up kept fighting back,” Ford said.
Whilst Thomsen is building his career, long-time Hawkesbury trainer Ethne Potowski was also in the winning list yesterday with underrated sprinter Lion Couchant ($4.20). The six-year-old made light of his 61kg to post the fifth success of his 18-start career, in the Blacktown Workers Group Benchmark 65 Handicap (1000m).
Yesterday’s successful rider Tye Angland knows the gelding well, having now partnered him in four of those wins. Potowski, who has been training at Hawkesbury for more than 30 years, said the ease of Lion Couchant’s victory on a good surface had surprised her.
“His best form has been on wet tracks,” she said. “All his previous wins were on either soft or heavy ground, so this is a nice surprise.”
Angland bounced Lion Couchant out smartly at the jump, and the gelding was strong at the finish, easily repelling a late challenge from another Hawkesbury runner, Mal Johnston’s Bite The Media ($5).