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Frankel trainer Henry Cecil dies at 70

Englishman Henry Cecil loses his battle with cancer after a long career as one of the best trainers in the business.

Last Modified: 11 Jun 2013 13:28
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Henry Cecil trained retired super-horse Frankel - who now commands a stud price of $195,000 [Reuters]

English champion racehorse trainer Henry Cecil, who triumphed a record 75 times at Royal Ascot, died of cancer on Tuesday at the age of 70.

A statement on Cecil's website said Warren Place Stables, where he worked as a trainer for 44 years, 'confirms the passing of Sir Henry Cecil earlier this morning.'

Cecil was champion trainer in Britain 10 times and trained one of racing's greatest horses, Frankel, who was retired last year after winning all 14 of his races with almost $4.66 million in earnings.

I cannot believe in the history of horse racing that there has ever been a better racehorse

Henry Cecil , Horse trainer

The colt was named after American trainer Robert 'Bobby' Frankel, who also died of cancer in 2009.

An elegant and eloquent presence, even though gaunt and with his voice reduced to a whisper by bouts of chemotherapy towards the end, Cecil spoke movingly last year of how Frankel had helped to sustain him in his fight against stomach cancer.

"I cannot believe in the history of horse racing that there has ever been a better racehorse," he said.

The popular Cecil, who hailed from an aristocratic background and started his racing career as an assistant to his stepfather, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2006.

After capturing his first classic winner at the 2,000 Guineas with Bolkonski in 1975, he trained four Derby winners and the same number of winners in the St. Leger.

"Following communication with the British Horseracing Authority, temporary licence will be allocated to Lady Cecil," the statement on Cecil's website read."

"No further update is anticipated this afternoon."

British horse racing commentator Clare Balding expressed her condolences on Twitter: "Just heard the news that Sir Henry Cecil has died. So so sad. He was one of the true greats and a gentleman. Frankel his crowning glory #RIP."

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