Sir Henry Cecil


With typical self-effacement, legendary Horse Racing trainer Sir Henry Cecil once explained the secret behind his success – the horses themselves.

'They tell me what to do really,' he said.

With 10 Champion Trainer titles and 25 Classic winners under his belt, Sir Henry must have been a great listener.

His stepfather, Captain Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, was himself a Champion Trainer and Sir Henry was already training winners by the age of 26. By the time he died, aged 70, the stepson had completely eclipsed the father.

Four Derby winners, eight Oaks triumphs, four St Legers and no fewer than 75 victories at Royal Ascot, Cecil is considered one of the greatest trainers of them all.

Not that success was a constant companion. Personal tragedy, a bout of stomach cancer and professional fall-outs around the turn of the millennium meant Cecil's stable shrank from 200 horses to just 50 and he seriously considered retiring.

But a return to glory finally came, helped in no small measure by a certain horse named Frankel, who remained unbeaten under Cecil and is widely regarded as the greatest flat racer in history.

Cecil died, of cancer, in 2012, his reputation restored, his record remarkable.

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Sir Henry Cecil

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