ICM racing are a small, family run syndicate made up of enthusiastic racing supporters who, like many other groups before them have dreamt of owning racehorses and winning races. But few manage to achieve their dreams quite so quickly. In racing terms ICM are new to racing, established less than two years ago, team Sun Hill have already trained a couple of two year old winners for them in "King's Mimic"- a hugely promising colt by Bushranger that George and I bought on spec at Newmarket sales as a yearling. He was rated 85 after winning impressively and coming third in the hot "Brian Yardley" conditions stakes race at Beverly (the first and second went on to win a Group 2 race while the second horse won a valuble sales race ). "Searanger" was another purchase we made at Doncaster Breeze up sales and he bacame their second flat winner after Kings Mimic. A strong American bred colt, he was not the first US bred colt we have bought and won with, he won nicely as a juvenile and again recently as a three year old while "Heaven Scent" also broke new ground for ICM today when she became their first winner over hurdles and the yards first winner over jumps for quite some time. We bought Heaven Scent's dam "Hels Angel" very cheaply as a yearling and won five races on the flat with her.
Training national hunt horses might have been my number one passion many years ago but it has been a long time since we have entertained any jump horses at Sun Hill, not for any reason other than flat horses took over, and in particular juvenile flat horses became our speciality, largely because in order to train jumpers to any decent level, you need owners prepared to invest "massive" sums of money and then have the patience of a saint while they wait 'years' for those horses to come to fruition, and many don't amount to anything while many others get injured along the way. Time is money and it costs huge sums to prepare and care for horses of any type. It is not a passtime for the faint hearted.
On the flat it is possible to buy relatively cheaply and in the first six to nine months you have a damn good idea of the potential- or lack of potential, your four legged friend posses's. Of course, retaining a jumps licence comes in handy too because any of the more staying bred flat horses can go hurdling- Like Heaven Scent did today, in her case she took to jumping very quickly having only popped over her first pole on the ground ten days ago before making her hurdling debut today at Market Rasen under Colm McCormack who rides out regularly for the yard.