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Sir Henry Cecil Tribute
11/06/13

Legendary racehorse trainer Sir Henry Cecil died on Tuesday, 11th June 2013, at the age of 70 following a long battle with stomach cancer.

Champion trainer 10 times and responsible for 25 British Classic winners, the master of Warren Place in Newmarket was also the leading handler by some way at Royal Ascot with a record 75 successes.

In 2008, Cecil married his third wife, his one-time secretary Jane McKeown. He is survived by two children, Katie and Noel, from his first marriage, and son Jake from his second marriage.

Lady Cecil has been granted a temporary training licence by the British Horseracing Authority, with runners declared for Newbury, Nottingham and Yarmouth on Thursday.

Sir Henry Cecil after Frankel had won the 2012 Qipco Champion Stakes
© Caroline Norris

Sir Henry Cecil
Knighted by the Queen in 2011, Cecil's later years saw him fight cancer but were illuminated by the great Frankel, officially the best horse in the world and unbeaten in 14 starts before retirement at the end of last season.

Frankel carried the colours of Cecil's great patron Prince Khalid Abdullah, owner of Juddmonte Farms.

A statement on www.juddmonte.com read: "It is with immense sadness that we have learnt that Sir Henry Cecil lost his long battle with cancer this morning. Henry has been both a longstanding friend of Prince Khalid's and a wonderful trainer for Juddmonte and beyond. Our thoughts are with Jane and all his family, and his loyal staff at Warren Place."

Frankel was ridden in all his races by Tom Queally, who told Racing UK: "Every other trainer aspires to be like him and no other trainer will come close. He really excelled with Frankel. He made all the right calls and all the right choices with him. He retired unbeaten and that was his (Cecil's) jewel in the crown. Racing has lost a real gentleman."

Sir Michael Stoute, also champion trainer 10 times, said: "I do not believe this country has ever produced a better trainer than Henry. I know there has never been one so loved. And then there was his toughness and courage, which had to be seen to be believed as he continued to supervise the training of his horses. Some man."

Lord Grimthorpe, Prince Khalid Abdulla's racing manager gave ATR viewers his thoughts on Sir Henry Cecil:

Racing remembered Cecil with a minute's silence before each of Tuesday's four meetings.

Relive Matt Chapman's brilliant interview with Sir Henry Cecil in pre-Frankel times with no ads. It's an hour and a half of pure gold:

 

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