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WEDNESDAY: October 9, 2019: HAWKESBURY trainer Jamie Thomsen reckons 1600m is the ideal distance for yesterday’s Goulburn winner Just Two Vees.

Now a seven-year-old, Just Two Vees clinched his third victory when successful in the Benchmark 58 Handicap over that journey.

In the process, Canberra apprentice Billy Owen landed the first winner of the 2019-20 Rising Star Series.

Twenty-four heats will be run in the series for apprentices, with the final to be run at Hawkesbury on Thursday, July 30 next year.

With non-claiming apprentice Owen aboard, Just Two Vees ($5.50) beat Isadora Twinkle ($6.50) and Tribuna ($19).

Just Two Vees took 13 starts to break his maiden; in an 1800m Maiden at Hawkesbury on May 18, 2017.

“I had been racing him over shorter distances when I decided to jump him up from 1350m to 1600m for a Maiden at home in November, 2016,” Thomsen said today.

“He ran second to Scott Singleton’s Cambage, then I gave him a break and brought him back.

“Just Two Vees won his Maiden at his fourth run that preparation, and he subsequently won a 1750m Benchmark 55 at Muswellbrook in July last year.

“But I feel that 1600m is his ideal distance; he could stretch to 1700m but not much beyond that.”

Thomsen described Just Two Vees as a “gutsy horse”, and understandably so.

The gelding ran third at $61 on debut at Wyong over 1000m in February, 2016, but then fell at his next start 17 days later at Canberra when a much more fancied $4 chance.

“He didn’t suffer injuries in that fall and is a sound horse, but it took him quite a while to get his confidence back,” Thomsen said.

“I am always thrilled to win a race for the Eeles family who race Just Two Vees.

“They are wonderful people and great supporters of my stable.”

Just Two Vees was Thomsen’s second winner of the season; having notched the most important victory of his training career with Red Notice (now spelling), who landed the Manning Lightning at the Taree Cup Showcase meeting in August.

. Just Two Vees has an interesting pedigree.

His sire Venice Beach is a son of Redoute’s Choice, and his dam, the Bellotto mare Boardwalk Bell, is a half-sister to the former WA champion Northerly (who died in 2012).

Venice Beach was a $1m plus yearling, but a leg injury prevented him from ever racing.

Just Two Vees was the last foal of the El Moxie mare Viejo, a five-times winner who was prepared by part-owner Scott Eeles, head breaker for Godolphin.