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Sir Henry Cecil – Queen knights a great trainer

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While Peter Moody, the trainer of champion mare Black Caviar, sucks on a warm beer and munches a $6 snag with onions at the Roma Cup meet on Saturday, Henry Cecil, trainer of UK champion Frankel will be sipping Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam in palatial surroundings after being knighted by the Queen.

Cecil, a 10-time champion flat trainer described his title as “the biggest honour I’ll get in my lifetime.”

Cecil took out a  license in 1969 and  has won 36 Classic races as well 70  Royal Ascot triumphs, making him the most successful trainer at  that June carnival.

Like Moody, Cecil has always been a popular figure commanding respect where ever a horse is entered.

“It’s a way of life,” he said.

“I like a challenge and my life’s been full of challenges and I’m very honoured to receive this.

“This is the biggest honour I’ll get in my lifetime.”

“I was the first person from my prep school to fail common entry to Eton, so I think I was qualified to be a porter.

Cecil who trains at Warren Place in Suffolk has trained 397 winners of black type races including four Epsom Derby winners: 1985 Slip Anchor, 1987 Reference Point, 1993 Commander in Chief, 1999 Oath.

He is also the trainer three 2000 Guineas winners, six 1000 Guineas winners, eight Epsom Oaks winners and four English St Leger winners.

Cecil has also experienced setbacks along the way.

In 1995 he was dealt a blow when Sheikh Mohammed withdrew his horses from the stable.

He was also diagnosed with stomach cancer, but after treatment is said to have overcome the illness.

Both Moody and Cecil will be celebrating on the weekend the fine achievements of their horses – I wonder who will be having more fun.

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