Trainer Robert Hickmott has described the performance of German import Django Freeman as “super” after the entire’s Australian debut placing at Flemington.
With Craig Williams in the saddle, Django Freeman finished third behind Reykjavik and Shot Of Irish in Saturday’s Apache Cat Handicap over 1600m.
Django Freeman arrived in Australia in August and was being set for the spring carnival, but suffered a knee injury the following month that required surgery.
Hickmott could not hide his delight with Saturday’s return, saying the four-year-old was short of match fitness.
“It was super as he was probably 80 to 85 per cent fit,” Hickmott said.
“The wet track was always a bit of an issue, but Craig said he got through it OK, not that comfortable, but OK.
“When he’d had enough he still put his head out and had a crack.
“He’s a very genuine colt and we couldn’t be happier first-up.”
Hickmott, who prepared Green Moon and Almandin to win the Melbourne Cup, plans to extend Django Freeman out in journey for his next start.
“We’ll probably go to The Valley in three weeks time over 2040 metres and then put him away after that,” Hickmott said.
“We can then give him a couple of weeks off at the farm and get him mentally stimulated for the spring.”
The 2040m race at The Valley on June 13 will also be the next outing for Harbour Views after his last start third-placed finish in the Robert A Lee Stakes at Morphettville on May 16.