Friday 25 May 2018

Frankel has been an inspiration to me through illness, says Henry Cecil

Henry Cecil credits the "inspiration" of Frankel with helping him in his ongoing battle against illness.

Cecil's career hit a low point in 2005 when he saddled only 12 winners, but the victory of Light Shift in the 2007 Oaks signalled a return to the big time.

The winners began to flow again and then in 2010 when he unleashed Frankel to the world Cecil was thrust right back the forefront of the public's conscious.

The Warren Place handler did not attend Frankel's rout in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood as he continued to receive treatment. He did, however, make an appearance at York and, despite looking frail, said Frankel's victory had made him feel "20 years better".

"I am so lucky to have been allocated Frankel to train. He has been an inspiration and challenge, which I really needed so badly," said Cecil.

"Through my illness, I feel that the help from my wife Jane and the determination to be there for Frankel has helped me so much to get through the season."

Despite many heaping praise on Cecil for the way he handled the notoriously feisty Frankel through the early days of his career, the trainer has hailed his staff, with one particular member coming in for special recognition.

"What Frankel has achieved during the past year is outstanding but I would not like to take all the praise," said Cecil.

"There are a lot of people at Warren Place who have all played their part with Frankel and I really appreciate everyone's efforts - not least Shane Fetherstonhaugh's.

"This season, Shane has ridden Frankel entirely at home.

"I've managed his training schedule and preparation, but Shane has carried out the orders to perfection.

"So, perhaps, it could be said that we - Shane and I - have trained Frankel together!"

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