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Cecil 'excelled' with Frankel


Frankel and Tom Queally win the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Frankel and Tom Queally win the Champion Stakes at Ascot

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Frankel and Tom Queally win the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Frankel's jockey Tom Queally has paid a personal tribute to Sir Henry Cecil after the death of the Newmarket trainer at the age of 70.

The rider, first jockey for Cecil in recent years, was aboard Frankel for each of his 14 wins in an unbeaten career that brought so much pleasure to the legendary handler.

"He really excelled with him (Frankel). He made all the right calls and all the right choices with him. He retired unbeaten and that was his (Cecil's) jewel in the crown. Racing has lost a real gentleman," said Queally.

He told Racing UK: "Everybody in racing will be saddened to hear of his passing away. This is going to affect an awful lot of people. I'm gutted to hear it. His illness got the better of him - it's a dreadful shame.

"He was very easy to ride for. He was a great trainer and an even greater person. Everything he did was class - he was just class, everything about him. Every other trainer aspires to be like him and no other trainer will come close.

"He had a great empathy with horses and was a people person as well. He made a serious business feel like fun - I'm sure any member of his staff will tell you the same. Simplicity wins, and he kept things simple. They don't make people like him any more. He was a brilliant, brilliant trainer and a great man. We'll never see another trainer like him again."

Mick Kinane rode several big-race winners for Cecil, including the 1993 Derby aboard Commander In Chief, and was fulsome in his praise.

He told At The Races: "He was a lovely man to ride for and had a great way of making you feel at ease even when the stakes were high. The first time you win a big race you never forget and Commander In Chief was my first Derby. He was the second string on the day, but he wasn't really, as he was unexposed.

"His horses were always like the man himself, straightforward and easy to deal with, they were always very genuine and would do their utmost for you, just like he would. It was fitting the he ended up with a horse like Frankel when he faced his biggest battle himself. It was great he gave him so much pleasure. I'm sure he'll be sorely missed."

An emotional Pat Eddery added: "He was a great trainer, he was a genius and I was very fortunate to have ridden for him. It's just really sad. He was quite an easy person to get on with and trained some great horses. He's gone through some bad times, came back and did it again. I just loved riding for him. His horses were amazing. It's a very sad day."