Frankel owner Abdullah hails trainer Cecil

Leading owner Prince Khalid Abdullah paid tribute to “genius” Henry Cecil following the legendary trainer’s death on Tuesday.

Frankel owner Abdullah hails trainer Cecil

Leading owner Prince Khalid Abdullah paid tribute to “genius” Henry Cecil following the legendary trainer’s death on Tuesday.

Abdullah enjoyed some of his greatest successes on a racecourse alongside Cecil, who lost his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 70.

Cecil’s name will long be remembered for the expert way in which he handled the Abdullah-owned Frankel over the previous three years and their relationship was one of the strongest partnerships in racing.

Abdullah said: “It was with great sadness that I learnt of the death of Henry.

“His life is a remarkable story which has inspired so many.

“His genius and compassion, especially in the training of Frankel, was clear to see. Both their names will be indelibly linked.

“Above all, he was a great personal friend.”

Frankel was ridden in all his races by Tom Queally, Cecil’s first jockey in recent years.

He told Racing UK: “Every other trainer aspires to be like him and no other trainer will come close.

“He really excelled with Frankel. He made all he right calls and all the right choices with him.

“He retired unbeaten and that was his (Cecil’s) jewel in the crown.

“Racing has lost a real gentleman.”

Champion trainer 10 times and responsible for 25 British Classic winners, Cecil was also the leading handler by some way at Royal Ascot with a record 75 successes.

American Steve Cauthen enjoyed six highly successful years as stable jockey at Cecil’s Warren Place yard, including many Classic triumphs and the Triple Crown success of the filly Oh So Sharp in 1985.

“It’s a great loss to the sport and to everybody who knew him. He was such a great guy – different, special, a genius and we had six great years together,” he said.

“The first year we had an amazing run when Slip Anchor won the Derby and Oh So Sharp won the Triple Crown for fillies.

“He had a great sense of humour. He was a super intelligent guy and really knew how to place his horses.

“The way he trained was great and the way he placed them was fantastic. He was a special trainer.

“He did a perfect job in making Frankel the horse he was.”

An emotional Pat Eddery remembered his time riding for Cecil.

“He was a great trainer, he was a genius and I was very fortunate to have ridden for him and it’s just really sad,” he told At The Races.

“He was never overpowering. He was quite an easy person to get on with.

“He just trained some great horses. He’s gone through some bad times, came back and did it again.”

Six-times champion Kieren Fallon, another of the elite band of Cecil stable jockeys, described him as a “legend”.

“He was a legend. My first year with him, I was champion jockey. We had a great rapport and he will be sadly missed,” he told Sky Sports News.

“We won the Derby with Oath, the Guineas with Sleepytime, we had a lot of great success.

“I think Frankel will be on everybody’s mind, the way he trained that horse, one of the greatest horses we’ve ever seen – we’ll not see another one like him.”

Like Cecil, Sir Michael Stoute has been champion trainer 10 times and paid the ultimate tribute by describing him as the best trainer the UK has ever had.

“I do not believe this country has ever produced a better trainer than Henry,” said the Freemason Lodge handler.

“I know there has never been one so loved.

“And then there was his toughness and courage which had to be seen to be believed as he continued to supervise the training of his horses. Some man.”

Racing remembered Cecil with a minute’s silence before each of Tuesday’s four meetings.

Lady Cecil has been granted a temporary training licence by the British Horseracing Authority, with runners declared for Newbury, Nottingham and Yarmouth on Thursday.

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