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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 May, 2003, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Henry Cecil
Henry Cecil
Date of birth: 11 Jan 1943
Started training: 1968
Base: Warren Place, Newmarket
Champion trainer: 10 times (1976, 1978-79, 1982, 1984-85, 1987-88, 1990, 1993
English Classic wins: 23
2002 wins: 30
2001 wins: 48
2000 wins: 61

Cecil's glory days may be firmly in the past but no current British trainer can match his record.

His nonchalent air masks a fierce desire to win and Cecil has been champion trainer 10 times and has won a record 23 Classics, including four Derbies and seven Oaks.

He became assistant-trainer to his step-father, royal trainer Captain Cecil Boyd-Rochfort in 1964 and took charge on the latter's retirement in 1968.

His first Classic came in 1975 when Bolkonski won the 2,000 Guineas.

He set a new record of 128 winners in the 1979 season, in 1985 he became the first British trainer to pass the 1m prize money mark and the following year he set another record with 180 winners.

Training fillies has been his speciality - he won the fillies' Triple Crown in 1985 when Oh So Sharp took the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger.

The last decade has been a relatively lean one for Cecil as the quality of his equine inmates has been in decline. He has not been champion trainer since 1993 and in 2002 he finished 37th, the first time he had been outside the top 12 since 1973.

The loss of his main owner, Sheikh Mohammed, in 1995 was a huge blow although eight Classic wins since then prove Cecil still has what it takes - and his victories are also always welcomed by a public that still holds him in the highest regard.


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