German horse Django Freeman is set to make his Australian debut more than seven months after landing in Australia.
Now under the guise of leading Australian trainer Robert Hickmott, Django Freeman is ramping up his preparation for his debut at Flemington in the Apache Cat Handicap (1600m) on May 23.
Initially sent to Australia as a genuine winning chance in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup and Group 1 Cox Plate, Django Freeman required knee surgery to remove a bone chip sustained after hyper-extending his knee during trackwork last spring.
He was initially slated for his Australian debut in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington before injury struck.
Django Freeman enjoyed a stellar juvenile season in Germany, winning three of his six career starts, including a victory in the Group Three Bavarian Classic (2000m).
Impressive win from DJANGO FREEMAN last night. The colt won the Group 3 https://t.co/66twHGHrLX Bavarian Classic. Definitely a horse we should be following in the future. @SkyRacingAU #goesgood pic.twitter.com/wXm9gebLAP— Dave Stanley (@daveystan1) May 1, 2019
He finished second to Laccario twice in feature races, notably the G1 German Derby (2400m) last July.
“His German form was exceptional,” Hickmott said.
“He did bump into a good horse on the day, Laccario, but ran a gallant second in the German Derby after winning the Bavarian Classic and running second in another one of the lead-ups.
“How he fits into Australian racing is still a bit up in the air, whether he’s a Cox Plate horse or a Caulfield or Melbourne Cup horse is still to be decided.
“We’ll learn along the way with him this preparation.
“He’ll have a couple of runs and then probably go for a short break and come back for his spring preparation.”