Sir Henry Cecil Passes Away Aged 70
Sir Henry Cecil, one of the most successful trainers in UK racing history, has passed away after losing his battle with cancer at the age of seventy.
In an astonishing career that spanned across five decades Cecil was a ten time champion trainer who was greatly admired for his love of horses, racing and the respect he had for the racing public.
Cecil received his racing license in 1969 and that year trained his first Group 1 winner when Wolver Hollow won the Coral Eclipse Stakes.
In the years that followed Cecil-trained horses became regular winners of Group 1 races across Europe and in the 1980s and early 1990s was Britain’s dominant trainer.
Cecil trained an incredible twenty-five English Classic winners and had a particularly strong record in the 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks.
The Scottish-born trainer won the 1000 Guineas on six occasions and the Epsom Oaks eight times (including four winners in five years from 1996 to 2000) making him the most successful trainer of fillies in recent racing history.
Cecil’s success wasn’t limited to the females as he had great success with Epsom Derby-winners Slip Anchor, Reference Point, Commander in Chief and Oath and is the most successful trainer in the history of the Racing Post Trophy for two-year-olds, having won the race on ten separate occasions.
Although he trained well over twenty champion horses Cecil’s name will be forever linked with equine superstar Frankel who retired at the end of 2012 with an unbeaten fourteen race record.
Cecil quickly dubbed Frankel the best horse he had ever seen and that opinion is shared by racegoers all over the world as well as Timeform and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities who both have Frankel as the highest rated horse of all time.
The success of Frankel turned Cecil into a household name outside the racing world and he was praised for the way he handled the extra publicity as well as the racing career of the once in a generation equine superstar despite having battled cancer since 2006.
It is unfortunate that Cecil’s passing occurred just under a week out from the Royal Ascot Festival but his record of seventy-two wins at the famous meeting should stand for many years to come.
A minute’s silence was held at all race meeting held yesterday and the British Horseracing Authority is expected to organise a tribute for the great trainer that will take place during the Royal Ascot Festival.
Racing will continue but it is fair to say without Sir Henry Cecil it will never be the same.