Legendary British racehorse trainer Sir Henry Cecil has died at 70 following a seven year battle with stomach cancer.
Cecil put the finishing touches of his forty-four year training career overseeing the perfect performance of Britain’s latest super star Frankel who was retired last year after winning all of his fourteen race starts as well as being rate the world’s number one racehorse.
Cecil trained twenty-five British Classic winners after taking out his trainer’s licence in 1969 following the retirement of his stepfather Cecil Boyd-Rochfort and rose to the highest level in 2011 when knighted by the Queen Elizabeth II for services to racing.
The Newmarket trainer was well liked and respected from all sections of the British racing industry.
“His record as a trainer was one of almost unparalleled achievement, but more than that he generated a level of affection from both racing’s participants and followers that few others in sport can ever have matched,” British Horseracing Authority chairman Paul Roy said.
“His unique talents as one of Britain’s greatest racehorse trainers, epitomised 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.
Frankel was the horse who provided Cecil with his twenty-fifth British Classic in winning the 2011 2000 Guineas adding to his four Derby winners and his record-equalling eight Oaks.
Even while fighting cancer, Cecil was able to keep his stable, Warren Place at Newmarket churning out the winner with his horses earning £2.6million from fifty-five winners and his strike rate of nineteen per cent was among the highest.
Cecil also holds the record for training the most number of winners at Royal Ascot and took his tally to seventy-five in 2012 with the wins of Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes and Thomas Chippendale’s win in the King Edward VII Stakes.
The winner’s rolled out of Warren Place after the trainer purchased the showpiece training complex from his father–in-law Noel Murless in 1976.
Cecil’s exceptional career and his association with champion racehorse Frankel in his final years will be well remembered and firmly etched in British horse racing history.