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Henry Cecil: Trainer of Genius


By Brough Scott
Hardback , 400 pages
Published: 12/04/2013
Publisher: Racing Post Books
Price: £13.99 RPP £20.00

Summary

The story of trainer Henry Cecil is one the great redemption songs of sporting history: decades of success at the highest level followed by years in the professional and personal depths – then a glorious resurrection topped by the unbeatable Frankel, widely considered the greatest racehorse of all time. Hollywood could not have scripted the tale better.

Henry Cecil is the trainer who did not fit the mould: the shy, foppish figure who despite his aristocratic profile unleashed waves of popular affection previously unknown in Flat racing. The public loves Cecil, and he returns that affection with a bemused tilt of the head and self-effacing humour. Despite that self-deprecation, Cecil’s record testifies to his being one of the greatest racehorse trainers in history, with 25 wins in English Classics to his credit – including the Derby four times – as well as countless other big-race victories around the world.

But what makes the figure of Henry Cecil so compelling is the extraordinary personality behind the records, and no one is better placed to chronicle the giddy highs and desperate lows of his story than Brough Scott. The former jockey and now leading sports journalist has witnessed the Cecil genius at close quarters for decades, and tells the full story with honesty and candour as well as admiration and affection.

This is one of the most gripping sporting stories ever told, and its cast list includes luminaries of the racing world including Lester Piggott, Steve Cauthen and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, as well as equine heroes and heroines such as Kris, Oh So Sharp, Reference Point, Bosra Sham and the incomparable Frankel. The Henry Cecil story is an emotional rollercoaster. Stand by for an exhilarating ride.

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