Horse Racing - Sir Henry Cecil: The jewel in the crown

Despite losing his battle with cancer, Sir Henry Cecil will remain one of the great figures in British sport.

Horse Racing - Sir Henry Cecil: The jewel in the crown

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Sir Henry Cecil

Sir Henry departs as the second Scottish trainer to have been knighted by the Queen, after football manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

But, while the famous Manchester United boss is still going strong, his countryman was not able to beat the stomach cancer that had been eating away at him for several years.

The last few years of his life had already seen him deal with the death of his twin brother, but they also saw him witness the rise of Frankel, who remains unbeaten.

Named after the famous American trainer Bobby Frankel, who died of Leukaemia in 2009, the pure-blood was described by his owner Prince Khalid bin Abdullah as curious, attentive and special.

Such compliments could also be applied to Sir Henry: both his record and his personality led to a huge respect given by a profession that is, nevertheless, very competitive.

His record is near unrivalled: 75 wins at Ascot, 25 in British classics - no one since 1900 has a better record - and 10 times trainer of the year. Ferguson was named manager of the year five times while in charge at Manchester United.

Then there was his personality. Sir Henry was so captivating and popular that messages of support for his family have not stopped pouring in since the sad news of his passing.

From Roger Charlton, his opposite number, who described him as “brave and courageous”, to Luca Cumani, who saw in his elder “a brilliant trainer”, to footballer Michael Owen, who said:“Sad to hear that a true great of the Racing game has passed away today”.

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