Hickmott imports on path to winter returns

Mathew Toogood
Trainer Robert Hickmott is looking forward to the return of two imported stayers from injury

Trainer Robert Hickmott is optimistic about his stable's prospects in 2020 and believes two imported stayers on the comeback trail from injury can help lead the charge.

Hickmott spent several years as the private trainer for prominent owner Lloyd Williams, winning two Melbourne Cups with Green Moon (2012) and Almandin (2016).

He branched out on his own in late 2017 and opened a stable at Caulfield.

Hickmott had hoped German imports Schabau and Django Freeman could figure in feature races last spring but both missed the carnival because of injuries.

Schabau won his first three Australian starts and was high in early Melbourne Cup markets after winning the Roy Higgins Quality in March.

Soon after he was sidelined because of a tendon injury which has kept him off the scene since.

Django Freeman, second in the 2019 German Derby in July, arrived in Australia in August was being prepared for his Australian debut in the Group One Turnbull Stakes in October but was ruled out of the carnival because of a bone chip in a knee.

Both are scheduled to return to work later this week with a view to returning during the Brisbane winter carnival.

"I'm very happy with them and we've just got to give them plenty of groundwork and soft kilometres in their legs early," Hickmott said.

"I'm sure that they're really going to give the stable a kick along this year if we can get them back there safe and sound, which is something we'll be priding ourself on going forward,.

"We'll give them every opportunity to race at the winter carnival in Brisbane. We won't be pushing them along to get them back any quicker than they need to.

"I think if we can get them nice and happy and sound they'll be forces to be reckoned with in Brisbane for sure."

The trainer will have the chance at stakes success early in 2020 with Bumper Blast scheduled to contest Saturday's Listed Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington.