Legendary trainer Cecil no more - TNN
Posted on - 12 Jun 2013
Legendary trainer Cecil no more
London: Henry Cecil, who trained unbeaten superstar Frankel and was one of British horse racing’s greatest trainers in a career spanning nearly half a century, died Tuesday following a long battle with cancer. He was 70.
Cecil’s death was announced on the website of Warren Place Stables, where the Scotsman worked as a trainer for 44 years.
Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2011, Cecil was champion trainer in Britain 10 times and capped his career by training one of racing's all-time great horses, Frankel, who was retired last year after winning all 14 of his races.
“His unique talents as one of Britain’s greatest racehorse trainers, epitomized by his successes with Frankel, have played a major part in growing the sport’s profile around the world, for which we will be forever in his debt,” said Rod Street, chief executive of the British Champions Series.
The popular Cecil, who hailed from an aristocratic background and started his racing career as an assistant to his stepfather, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2006 and looked frail in his last few public appearances, speaking in a whisper.
After capturing his first classic winner at the 2,000 Guineas with Bolkonski in 1975, he trained four Derby winners and the same number of winners in the St. Leger. In 1985, Cecil’s Oh So Sharp became the first filly since 1955 to win English racing's three classics the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St. Leger.
It was American jockey Steve Cauthen who rode Oh So Sharp to England's Triple Crown in 1985 at the start of their successful six-year partnership with Cecil.
`He was a super intelligent guy and really knew how to place his horses,'' Cauthen said. ``He tried to have fun. The atmosphere during most of the time I was up at Warren Place was just fantastic.