Passing Of Sir Henry Cecil

Passing Of Sir Henry Cecil
Sir Henry Cecil and Frankel.

Sir Henry Cecil, 10-time champion trainer, has died at the age of 70. Responsible for 25 British Classic winners, Cecil was also the leading handler at Royal Ascot with a record 75 successes. Cecil, who was knighted in 2011, battled cancer in his later years.

Towards the end of his career, the Newmarket trainer trained Frankel, officially the highest-ever rated racehorse after finishing his career unbeaten in 14 starts. Cecil was described as “the greatest trainer of all time” by racing broadcaster Derek Thompson, while Newmarket racecourse said his contribution to racing would never be forgotten.

“It is with great sadness that Warren Place Stables confirms the passing of Sir Henry Cecil earlier this morning,” said a statement posted on Cecil’s website.

“Following communication with the British Horseracing Authority, a temporary licence will be allocated to Lady Cecil. “No further update is anticipated this afternoon.” Cecil first took out a training licence in 1969.

He had his first British Classic win with Bolkonski in the 1975 renewal of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, following up in the same race a year later with Wollow. Both horses were ridden by Frankie Dettori’s father, Gianfranco.

Cecil excelled with fillies, and trained six 1,000 Guineas winners and eight Oaks victors, his last Epsom heroine being Light Shift in 2007.

He had four Derby winners – Slip Anchor, Reference Point, Commander In Chief and Oath – and four St Leger triumphs. Among his Leger winners was Oh So Sharp, who completed the fillies’ Triple Crown of 1000 Guineas, Oaks and Leger under Steve Cauthen, with whom Cecil enjoyed a spectacular association.

But for all the great horses to pass through his care, the best was saved until last in Frankel, who retired to stud after crowning his unbeaten career with victory in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October 2012.

Sir Henry Cecil trained amongst others Peter Davies who stood in KZN at Kingswood Stud (now Rathmor) and Sleepytime – the dam of Spanish Harlem who stands at Middlefield Stud.

– Story

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