Hickok (outside) winning at Bendigo (Image: Racing Photos)
Mornington-based trainer Tony Noonan will let the summer dictate where he heads with promising three-year-old Hickok.
The son of Shooting To Win won his maiden impressively at Bendigo in September before finishing down the track in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
But with a good break under his belt, Noonan is confident Hickok can show his promise, starting in the $135,000 Lexus Holiday Plate (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
"It's always a little bit of a query when they run down the straight for the first time. He's a nice colt, he's had a nice lead in to this and if he handles the straight, I would think he would be highly competitive," Noonan said.
"We've still got ambitions he will make that (top) grade. He was a little bit soft in the Guineas Prelude, but he might have got there a little bit quick.
"We backed out of that situation, gave him some time. Now he is back in we will try and win some races, build his confidence leading into the autumn and see where he gets to."
Noonan will also have Florent contest the Merry Christmas VRC Members Plate (1600m), while Elite Legacy will run in the G.H. Mumm Christmas Plate (1000m).
He said Florent would enjoy the step up to the mile after her first two runs, where she finished down the track, were over 1200m and 1400m.
"I think she is ready to run a better race," Noonan said.
"She was in races she probably couldn't win. She's a gross little filly and needed to get some racing into her.
"She strips fitter going into this and she gets to a distance for the first time where she should be competitive."