Django Freeman is ready to rumble and mix it with the big boys in the Turnbull Stakes on Saturday

Two-time Melbourne Cup winning trainer Rob Hickmott says ex-German import Django Freeman has stripped 10kg leaner for his crack at some of Australian racing’s biggest stars in next Saturday’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

Hickmott is aiming to secure a Turnbull start for last year’s German Derby runner-up and then hopefully launch towards a Caulfield Cup mission.


Django Freeman has been prepared for his spring tilt on Lloyd Williams‘ Macedon Lodge property and Hickmott says the five-year-old is now ready to fire after finishing second behind The Chosen One over 1700m at Flemington earlier this month.

Django Freeman was no match for the winner on that occasion but Hickmott says he is now primed to shine.

Hickmott will certainly know where he stands with the former German with the Turnbull looking a strong affair with Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby and four-time Group I winner Verry Elleegant at the top of the betting market.

“He is a big, gross horse and he was always going to be open to improvement – he has stripped a lot fitter now and has lost 10kg since he was first-up,” Hickmott said.

“You can see his ribs now.

“I don’t really know what his ceiling is because I have only had him for three runs.

“The 2000m of the Turnbull will suit him a lot better as well.”

Hickmott knows what it takes to make a massive impact in the spring.

He worked with Lloyd Williams to prepare Green Moon and Almandin to win Melbourne Cups in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Django Freeman is a $15 chance in the Turnbull in pre-nominations betting markets.

Hickmott indicated another former German galloper, Schabau, would look to target The Bart Cummings to snare a ticket into the Melbourne Cup.

Originally published asDjango to be unchained in Turnbull Stakes

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