Henry Cecil


LONDON (AP) - Henry Cecil, who trained unbeaten superstar Frankel and was one of British horse racing's greatest trainers in a career spanning nearly half a century, died Tuesday following a long battle with cancer. He was 70.

Cecil's death was announced on the website of Warren Place Stables, where the Scotsman worked as a trainer for 44 years.

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2011, Cecil was champion trainer in Britain 10 times. He capped his career by training one of racing's all-time great horses, Frankel, who was retired last year after winning all 14 of his races.

"His unique talents as one of Britain's greatest racehorse trainers, epitomized 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.

The popular Cecil, who hailed from an aristocratic background and started his racing career as an assistant to his stepfather, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2006. He looked frail in his last few public appearances, speaking in a whisper.

After capturing his first classic winner at the 2,000 Guineas with Bolkonski in 1975, he trained four Derby winners and the same number of winners in the St. Leger.

In 1985, Cecil's Oh So Sharp became the first filly since 1955 to win English racing's three classics - the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St. Leger.

American jockey Steve Cauthen rode Oh So Sharp to England's Triple Crown in 1985 at the start of their successful six-year partnership with Cecil.

"He was a super intelligent guy and really knew how to place his horses," Cauthen said. "He tried to have fun. The atmosphere during most of the time I was up at Warren Place was just fantastic.

"It was all due to him. It was a team effort but everyone looked to him. He was the one making decisions about where to run the horses."

A minute's silence was held before each of the four meetings in Britain on Tuesday. More tributes are expected next week at Royal Ascot where Cecil claimed a record 75 victories.

"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.

Cecil was born into a racing family and started off at 21 as assistant to his stepfather, the royal trainer Cecil Boyd-Rochfort.

When Boyd-Rochford retired in 1968, Cecil took over his stables and the first of 10 champion trainer titles came in 1976.

But there were low points later on. Sheikh Mohammed removed all of his horses from Cecil's Warren Place yard in 1995, and an acrimonious split with jockey Kieren Fallon came four years later.

By 2000, Cecil's career faltered and there was speculation he coul d retire.

But Cecil bounced back, claiming 25 British winners in 2006. The following year, Light Shift won the Oaks for Cecil's first classic win since 1999.

A series of other Group One triumphs followed, with Frankel providing a fitting finale to Cecil's stellar training career by winning all 14 races before being declared among the best racehorses of all time.

"He went through a rough patch, but he came back," Cauthen said. "To have a horse like Frankel and finish off his career when he wasn't in great health was incredible. He did a perfect job in making Frankel the horse he was."

The British Horseracing Authority has granted a temporary license to Cecil's wife, Jane.

He is survived by two children from his first marriage, Katie and Noel, and son Jake from his second marriage.


ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer

AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

Sir Henry, a formidable character who oozed charisma and has given us hours of pleasure at the races.

He is missed so much

The world will be less bright without someone like you in it

So sorry for the loss of a racing great. Frankel, Oh So Sharp, Kris, Slip Anchor, Bosra Sham and so on and so on. Thanks for some very happy memories. You will be sadly missed without a doubt.

Time cannot steal the treasures that we carry in our hearts,
Nor ever dim the shining thoughts our cherished past imparts, and memories of the ones we loved
Still cast their gentle glow to grace our days and light our paths wherever we may go.

May the deep concern and sincere sympathy of others bring you comfort at this difficult time

David & Peggy Trahan

Henry's Family and Friends,
From time immemorial, people have been thrilled at the sight of the beauty, speed, agility, strength, and intelligence of horses, and have forged a unique bond with them. Many regard horses as the most beautiful of animals, favored for their grace and their unbridled energy. They truly are a thing of beauty. Henry was a very special person and had a skill with horses. He will be missed dearly. God has promised “those who mourn will be comforted.”(Matthew...

We will all miss Sir Henry. He touched so many of our lives with his special charisma.
I would like to express my sincere sympathy for the passing of your love one.

Sports History Attitude over many' [email protected]

Our condolences
to The Henry Cecil Family~
The long Journey you have had
was well worth kind Gratitude!
Sports Arena Horse racing has
made Archive history a legacy..
God Bless you HenryCecil