Robert Hickmott cannot wait for Flemington to see Django Freeman make his Australian debut

Robert Hickmott has high expectations for Django Freeman and they went to another level after watching him gallop at Sandown on Tuesday.

The former German galloper who hasn’t started since he finished second in last year’s German Derby will make his long-awaited Australian debut at Flemington on Saturday in the Apache Cat Handicap (1600m).

Hickmott clocked Django Freeman running his last 400m in 21.38sec which he thought was exceptional but fellow Caulfield trainer Henry Dwyer put it in context when he pointed out that a sub 22 seconds was a pass mark.

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German racehorse Django Freeman will make his long-awaited Australian debut on Saturday.Source:Supplied

“Henry said if they couldn’t break 22 seconds down the hill they weren’t going to win a race. That brought me back to the field a bit but it was still a really pleasing gallop,” Hickmott said.

Robert Hickmott was impressed with Django Freeman’s trackwork at Sandown.Source:News Corp Australia

Still Hickmott couldn’t have been happier also knowing that he was ridden by heavyweight jockey Jacob Rule, who he estimated weighed around 70kg.

Hickmott isn’t certain what to expect on Saturday but said he wouldn’t be surprised if the German bred four-year-old made a winning debut. He is a $6 chance with TAB fixed odds.

“Also he came through the gallop in really good order. As a two-year-old he won over 1400m and then went and won over 1600m so I’d be surprised if he wasn’t sharp enough. He’s a really athletic colt.”

“He’s a Group 1 level horse. I’m still learning about him. He’s got a good turn of foot. Where he fits in in the spring whether it’s a Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup or Melbourne Cup I’m not sure.”

Hickmott said he would run him at The Valley in three weeks time and then wait for the spring where he would run in the Feehan Stakes or the Turnbull Stakes first-up.

Django Freeman was purchased by an Australian syndicate last year which includes former champion cricketer Ricky Ponting last year and he was being aimed at the major races in spring but he was sidelined in September after he hyper extended his knee and had to have a bone chip.

He has only had six starts for three wins and three seconds.

Hickmott was thrilled with his other highly rated German import Schabau’s first-up effort at Flemington last Saturday when he finished seventh behind Super Titus over 2000m.

“He was about 80% fit and they went along at a strong tempo running 2.02 minutes. He stayed in contention much longer than I thought he would as I knew his condition would give out.”

“There’s not a suitable race for him in the next few weeks. I’ll give him a hard gallop and then get him ready for spring where I’ll set him for The Bart Cummings to try and get into the Melbourne Cup.”

Hickmott will also have three-year-old gelding Highland Jakk run over 2000m at Flemington on Saturday.

“He’s a deadset mile and a half horse. He needs to win to get into the final of this series over 2500m and he’s ready to run a big race.”




Originally published asChains finally come off for Django debut

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