Racing mourns the death of legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil

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The racing world was today in mourning following the death of one of the greatest trainers of all time, Sir Henry Cecil.

The Newmarket handler died at the age of 70 following a long battle against cancer.

A statement posted on www.sirhenrycecil.com read: “It is with great sadness that Warren Place Stables confirms the passing of Sir Henry Cecil earlier this morning.

“Following communication with the British Horseracing Authority, a temporary licence will be allocated to Lady Cecil. No further update is anticipated this afternoon.”

Cecil, who was knighted in 2011, was champion trainer 10 times, responsible for 25 British Classic winners and had a record 75 successes at Royal Ascot.

Having taken out a training licence in 1969, his first classic success came with Bolkonsi in the 1975 2000 Guineas.

He excelled at training fillies, saddling six 1000 Guineas winners and eight Oaks heroines including the might Oh So Sharp who went on to complete the fillies Triple Crown with victory in the 1985 St Leger.

I had the pleasure of meeting him that day, and on many occasions, and he was always a true gentleman in victory and defeat and often summed up a performance with very little words as he let his horses do the talking.

When Oh So Sharp won the Leger it was “she is not a bad filly is she” and when Reference Point had romped to victory in the Dante before going on to win Epsom Derby in 1987 he merely said “he did that quite nicely”.

Reference Point was one of four horses that Cecil saddled to win the Derby, the others being Slip Anchor (1985), Commander In Chief (1993) and Oath (1999).

However of all the great horses that passed through his care there is no doubt that the best was saved for last in the shape of the mighty Frankel.

He was superbly handled by Cecil to win all 14 of his races and retired to stud as officially the highest rated racehorse in the World after winning 10 Group 1s including the 2000 Guineas.

It was fitting that he was the last, and greatest, horse to be handled by Cecil and capped what can only be described as a truly remarkable career.

There is little doubt that Cecil is among the true greats of the turf, and although the word “legend” is used far too much in tributes this is a case in which it is most fitting.

He was a legend, a genius, a true gentleman and a person who will be missed deeply by all those in the sport.

I feel deeply privileged to have met him and witnessed many of his top successes and he will never be forgotten by all those associated with the sport.

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