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Sir Henry Cecil dies at the age of 70

Sir Henry Cecil 615 X 400
Photo: Emma-Louise Kerwin (


It is somewhat hard to put into words how the news of Sir Henry Cecil passing has made me feel. Shocked would be a good start, sad too, but the general upset that the horse racing world feels today will never fully be put into words.

To us, the racing family across the world, Sir Henry Cecil was the
greatest of them all and a father figure that racing could regularly
look up to in awe at the achievements that he continued to acquire. A
man whom had trained his string of stars to 136 Group 1 glories across the world, Cecil exits this world having completed his greatest
training feat of them all.

Cecil was a kind-hearted man, a man whom was respected in all areas of the sport and exuded great wit on regular occasions in a post-race
press brawl. For many a reporter, we hung on every word Cecil would
say, carefully writing every letter down whilst hoping that the horse
which he was detailing would go on to further success for this
legendary icon of the sports.

Just eight months prior to his death, Sir Henry Cecil would watch his
star colt Frankel complete and curtail and unbeaten streak of fourteen
in the British Champions Stakes at Ascot on October 20th. "I can't
believe that in the history of racing there has ever been a better
racehorse" said Cecil, as his star son of Galileo exited stage left to
the roars of thousands.

In just under two weeks time, Cecil had planned to saddle Frankel's
half-sister, Joyeuse, in a bid for further glory. A filly whom
impressed in winning her maiden at Lingfield Park, she was to target
the Group 3 Albany Stakes on the Friday of the internationally
renowned Royal Ascot meeting. Whilst Joyeuse will still be aimed at
the race under the temporary licence of Cecil's wife, Lady Cecil, it
is with sadness that we will never see Sir Henry Cecil able to watch
her progression towards a Classic season campaign.

Cecil had long been praised for his handling of fillies. An
exceptional trainer with both sexes, Cecil enjoyed never-ending
success with fillies having acquired eight victories in The Oaks at
Epsom and six victories in the 1,000 Guineas forming part of an
astonishing twenty-five Classic successes.

Fitting it may be that Cecil's success with Frankel would be the
perfect tribute to American trainer Robert Frankel. A long-time
respected member of the Juddmonte training ranks, Frankel passed away in 2009 from lukemia. One would hope that Juddmonte would be provide Cecil with an equally fitting tribute, with the Frankel x Midday foal possibly providing the most perfectly apt tribute of them all.

"I don’t like to be defeated" said Cecil, but in his final battle with
cancer Cecil would sadly be unable to be victorious once more.

Sir Henry Cecil passed away at the age of 70 after a long battle with cancer. 


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Older Comments about Sir Henry Cecil dies at the age of 70...

RIP Sir Henry. A HUGE loss for the racing world. He will always be remembered.
R.I.P Sir Henry Cecil. What a fabulous trainer and man who will never be forgotten.
Wollow, Bosra Sham, Kris, Diesis, Slip Anchor, Reference Point, Oh So Sharp, and in recent years the likes of Twice Over, Midday, and of course the mighty Frankel. That's merely scratching the surface of a list of horses who became the great thoroughbreds that did because of the genius that was Sir Henry Cecil. Isn't it fitting that for a man who devoted his life striving to achieve equine perfection to have the final universally recognized great horse of his training career turn out to be Timeform's highest rated horse in the history of the sport and arguably one of the greatest horses who ever graced a racetrack in Frankel. Proof that even good lord admires watching a genius from up above from time to time. RIP Sir Henry, as the sport is truly minus a legend on this day.
Certainly a sad day throughout the racing world.
Very sad day
Very sad through the end. RIP Sir Henry.
I'm sitting here wiping tears from my eyes.... it's th end of an era and I'm very sad to hear about this... he was a class act in every way, with the way he conducted himself and the way he trained his horses. His many champions speak for themselves. Rest in peace, Sir Henry. You will be missed.
A single word can describe this man, Genius!! Sir Henry Cecil is responsible for giving us some of the all-time great thorougbreds. He's trained a bunch of great horses over the years for Juddmonte owner Prince Khalid Abdullah. His passing very much signals the end of an era.
If ever there was a class act in this sport it was Sir Henry Cecil. Truly, trainers came no better than this man on either side of the Atlantic and the sport will SORELY miss him!!
If you can you should read the comments about him at Racing Post. Not only celebrating his training career but also acknowledging what a genuine and humble person he was. Truly a great man and a great loss.
A big lost to the horse racing world. He is truly an icon in this sports. He will be miss and my deep condolence this family.

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