‘Hurt’ Cecil refuses to endorse biography

Henry Cecil admitted he is “hurt” and “upset” by the contents of a new biography written by veteran journalist Brough Scott.

‘Hurt’ Cecil refuses to endorse biography

Cecil issued a statement on Thursday evening to explain why he would not be signing copies of the new Racing Post-published book, which is released today.

The legendary trainer said he regularly signs books and racecards related to former stable star Frankel, as well as copies of a previous book about him, but will not be endorsing Scott’s new tome as he feels the concept of the book was changed without consultation.

He told his website: “Over the years I have been asked by countless people, including Brough Scott, if they could write my biography.

“As there have been some unhappy and difficult phases in my life, for the sake of my family, especially my children, I have always said no.

“However, when Brough Scott visited me the year before last and told me that the Racing Post wanted him to write a tribute book about my training career in the same style as the Tony McCoy book (that he edited) I agreed, albeit with reservations.

“I made it very clear to Brough Scott that it was not to include certain areas of my life. I do not like to look back and prefer to look to the future.

“With horses to train and my ongoing treatment, I explained to Brough Scott that I did not have the time to go through the history of my training career.

“To assist him with the necessary research Brough Scott was therefore given a huge amount of access to my family, friends and staff – both old and current.

“At no point did Brough Scott explain to me that the concept of the book had changed to include some unhappy and difficult phases in my life that I had told him to leave and that I would have to trust him to tell the story as best he could.

“If Brough Scott had come to me to explain this change I would have undoubtedly withdrawn my cooperation and I am sure my family and friends would have followed suit.

“Brough Scott would also not have continued to enjoy the unparalleled access he had to Warren Place and Frankel.

“Although I see some editing has been done I feel there is still a large amount of needless focus on my private life. On the whole I also found the book rather boring and lacking in humour – something which I hope I am not!

“It is such a shame as Brough Scott has obviously put a lot of time and effort into the book and there are interesting parts. Nonetheless, I cannot express my disappointment strongly enough.

“I hope people will understand why I find it all so upsetting and hurtful for my family – and realise the reasons why I cannot endorse the book and do not want to sign it.

“I am very anxious to avoid people the disappointment and cost of sending me copies to be signed as this is not something which I am comfortable about doing. I do not wish to discuss this book any further.

“I want to put this stressful experience behind me and concentrate on being healthy and training my horses.”

Scott feels his book has done justice to the Newmarket handler, although he was “disappointed” to hear of Cecil’s dissatisfaction.

He told the Telegraph: “I’m disappointed and sad. If you read the book, it is an admiring, affectionate, but realistic, portrait of an extraordinary man, who has enjoyed an exceptional career.

Scott explained the outline of the book had changed when Frankel’s career had taken off.

He said: “I am not a person who is renowned for betraying trusts.”

More in this section

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox