Turnbull Stakes plan for Django Freeman

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July 28, 2019 - 02:06 PM

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Trainer Robert Hickmott has pinpointed the Turnbull Stakes to launch the Australian career of German horse Django Freeman, with the Group One race at Flemington to shape the import's spring program.

Django Freeman, who is among the horses on the second line of Caulfield Cup betting, is due to arrive in Victoria next month to begin two weeks quarantine at Werribee before heading to Hickmott's Caulfield stables.

Suman Hedge Bloodstock acquired a majority stake in Django Freeman for Australian interests last year with the colt remaining in Germany to be prepared for the German Derby in which he finished second.

Hickmott is excited to get the horse to Australia to join his team, with a view to making an immediate impact.

"He's over at Newmarket with James Eustace and he'll go into quarantine on the 1st of August," Hickmott said.

"He'll be out here on the 17th to Werribee and we'll have him there for two weeks until he can come back to our Caulfield stable.

"That will give us plenty of time to get him ready for the Turnbull first-up.

"Flemington is a big, flat track for him and he's a big striding animal.

"That will be ideal for him and it probably gives us a guide on where he sits in the scheme of things as well, whether we go to the Cups or if he happens to win the Turnbull he could go to the Cox Plate with the big bonuses."

The winner of the Turnbull Stakes will be eligible for a $1 million bonus should they also win the $5 million Cox Plate at The Valley in late October.

Hickmott says Django Freeman is a horse with plenty of natural ability.

"I think he's a quality horse, there's no doubt about that," he said.

"Whether it comes a bit too quick for him this spring, that's one thing about these European horses. They have a pretty long preparation to get ready for the German Derby and that's their Melbourne Cup. They have them at peak fitness.

"Although he's had about 14 days off it's still a bit of a task to get him back up.

"But he's got a great attitude and I think he'll cop whatever we serve up to him."