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Impeccable handling of Frankel testament to a true racing great

THERE were so many achievements that could define Henry Cecil as a great in horse racing, but it was his impeccable handling of Frankel that sealed a magnificent career.

Frankel undoubtedly proved to be a major tonic for Cecil as he fought stomach cancer, as he was determined to see out the career of the great horse.

Cecil was a witty, modest but hugely popular trainer who defied the expectations of many to comeback from a number of setbacks to train Light Shift to victory in the Epsom Oaks in 2007 and then, most notably, Frankel, who many deem to be the greatest racehorse of all time.

Frankel was owned by long-time supporter of the yard and close friend Prince Khalid Abdullah, whose support never wavered even through the tough years at Warren Place.



As a two-year-old, Frankel raced four times, winning the Dewhurst Stakes in 2010 to excite the racing world.

A scintillating performance in the English 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2011 saw Frankel record a memorable six-length victory, giving Cecil his 25th and final Classic success.

Frankel continued to go from strength-to-strength throughout his three-year-old career, winning the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Sussex Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Most people expected Frankel to be retired at the end of that campaign, but he raced on as a four-year-old winning five times, including another Royal Ascot win in the Queen Anne Stakes.

He then stepped up to a mile and a quarter to win the Juddmonte International and finally the English Champion Stakes.

Frankel was favourite for each of his 14 outings and odds-on for all, bar his first outing in a Newmarket maiden.

After his memorable Champion Stakes victory, on ground that was far from ideal for Frankel, Cecil revealed: "I have enjoyed every moment of training him although it has been stressful at times.

"He's the best I've ever had. He is the best I've ever seen. I cannot believe that in the history of horse racing there has ever been a better racehorse."