Turf united in grief and affection after the death of legendary Newmarket trainer Sir Henry Cecil

Minute's silence held at meetings after10-times champion trainer loses long battle with cancer

The fact that it could hardly come as a particular shock in no way diminished the grief that united the British racing community following the death of Sir Henry Cecil at the age of 70. The trainer of more than 3,000 winners, 25 in British Classics, has never been respected more than during his fight with cancer since 2006 – not least for his masterly training of Frankel during that time. But the tributes across the sport testified unanimously to still deeper bonds of affection.

Cecil's longstanding rival, Sir Michael Stoute, put it well. "I do not believe this country has ever produced a better trainer than Henry," he said. "I know there has never been one so loved."

The stable jockey at Warren Place, Tom Queally, also stressed the breadth of his late employer's gifts. "He was a great trainer and an even greater person," Queally told Racing UK. "Everything about him was class. Every other trainer aspired to be like him but nobody will even come close. Everyone throughout the industry will feel his loss, because they don't make them like him any more. He had a great empathy with his horses, and he was a people person. Racing has lost a real gem."

As BBC commentator, Sir Peter O'Sullevan described many of Cecil's defining moments. "As a trainer he was best described by Jim Joel [an owner with Cecil] as a man with green fingers for horses," O'Sullevan said. "That was a perfect definition of his amazing empathy. It was such a happy fact of his life that Frankel should come into it when he did. It was not just a happy association for him, but also for Frankel. They were simply made for each other."

Steve Cauthen's six years at Warren Place coincided with a golden spell for both trainer and jockey, beginning with four out of five Classics in their first season together in 1985. "He was such a great guy: different, special, a genius," the American said. "He had a great sense of humour, he was super intelligent and really knew how to place his horses. He tried to have fun. The atmosphere most of the time I was at Warren Place was just fantastic. He went through a rough patch [later] but came back. To have a horse like Frankel finish off his career when he wasn't in great health was incredible. He did a perfect job in making Frankel the horse he was."

Another in a sequence of jockeys to become champion in Cecil's service was Pat Eddery. "He was a genius," he told At The Races. "He was never overpowering, an easy person to get on with. His horses were amazing. He worked them hard but they always produced."

Mick Kinane corroborated that view as he recalled his 1993 Derby success on Commander In Chief. "He had a great way of making you feel at ease even when the stakes were high," he said. "His horses were always like the man himself: straightforward, easy to deal with, they were always very genuine and would do their utmost for you, just like he would. It was fitting he ended up with Frankel, when he faced his biggest battle himself."

The current champion jockey, Richard Hughes, remembered being shown the Warren Place roses when he expected a tour of the horses. "His strength was he didn't get too technical," Hughes said. "Some read speed figures and form books, but he wasn't like that: he trained his horse, and didn't mind what was in the race as if they were good enough, they would win."

 



Light Shift's success for the Niarchos family in the 2007 Oaks was Cecil's first Classic since 1999 and Alan Cooper, racing manager to the owners, was heartbroken at the news. "He's been a good friend and a very good teacher," he said. "And he has been so brave throughout all this, never complained once."

Cecil's widow, Jane, is to be granted a temporary training licence to keep the Warren Place stables operational. Jockeys at today's meetings rode in black armbands, and a minute's silence was observed.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little