Cauthen: “Cecil was an amazing guy”
Tuesday 11 June 2013
Steve Cauthen enjoyed six memorable and highly successful years as stable jockey to Sir Henry Cecil, including many Classic triumphs.
The American jockey partnered the likes of Oh So Sharp to the 1985 Triple Crown, Reference Point to Derby and St Leger glory two years later, and Diminuendo to the 1988 Oaks.
"It's a great loss to the sport and to everybody who knew him. he was such a great guy - different, special, a genius," he said.
"We had six great years together. The first year we had an amazing run when Slip Anchor won the Derby and Oh So Sharp won the Triple Crown for fillies.
"There were many others - Old Vic who won the French and Irish Derby, Reference Point, Indian Skimmer - there were so many of them.
"He had a great sense of humour. He was a super intelligent guy and really knew how to place his horses.
"He tried to have fun. The atmosphere during most of the time I was up at Warren Place was just fantastic.
"It was all due to him. It was a team effort but everyone looked to him. He was the one making decisions about where to run the horses.
"The way he trained was great and the way he placed them was fantastic. He was a special trainer.
"He went through a rough patch but he came back. To have a horse like Frankel and finish off his career when he wasn't in great health was incredible.
"He did a perfect job in making Frankel the horse he was."
Mick Kinane was among thhose jockey who had ridden for Cecil that paid tribute to him on Tuesday.
The former top jockey rode several big-race winners for Cecil, including the 1993 Derby aboard Commander In Chief, and was fulsome in his praise.
"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," Kinane said.
"I have to say he was very instrumental in launching my international career as in 1989 he gave me the spare ride in the Irish Oaks on Alydaress and things never looked back from there. I won a couple of King Georges for him (Belmez and King's Theatre) and the Derby (Commander In Chief) afterwards, so I had some great success with him.
"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.
"As a trainer he gave you all the confidence in the world going out, he was a lovely man to ride for. Breakfast at Warren Place was a lovely place to be, he had a big family and I'm sure he'll be sorely missed."
Six-times champion Kieren Fallon, another of the elite band of Cecil stable jockeys, said: "He was a legend. My first year with him, I was champion jockey. We had a great rapport and he will be sadly missed. We won the Derby with Oath, the Guineas with Sleepytime, we had a lot of great success. I think Frankel will be on everybody's mind, the way he trained that horse."
Richard Hughes, currently champion jockey, added: "It's very sad. I'd only said a few weeks ago when I saw him saddling his horses that he looked very weak, god rest him. But that was his love for his horses. He'd have 100 people to saddle his horses, but he just loved being there.
"I remember the first time I went to his yard, I wanted to see the horses and he showed me his roses! When I went in for breakfast he asked if I wanted soldiers with my egg! He was great fun to be around and his record as a trainer speaks for itself. We've lost probably one of the greatest trainers of all time. Frankel was brilliant, but he got him up to his potential."
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."
Reactions from members of the racing industry on Twitter following the announcement of Cecil's death:
A sad day for racing we have lost a true ambassador for our sport in Sir Henry Cecil privileged to have ridden for him #truegentleman
Very sad news to hear of Sir Henry Cecil's passing a genius trainer and absolute Gentleman RIP
A sad day indeed. Farewell to Sir Henry Cecil, a fabulous colleague and great horseman. Our condolences go out to his family today.
I only rode for "sir Henry Cecil" on 2 occasions, but I'm extremely proud 2 have ridden 4 him, RIP sir Henry #gentlemangeniuslegend
Henry Cecil was the most wonderful friend and Godfather to @HarryDunlop3 and will be much missed. Thoughts v much with his family and staff.
Think how difficult it is for a trainer to dig out one Royal Ascot winner. Then think that Sir Henry Cecil had 75 of them. Astonishing man.
Tanya Stevenson - Broadcaster
Rest In Peace Sir Henry Cecil forever in our hearts, you gave racing so much & you were the colourful fabric of its rich tapestry of history
Clare Balding - Broadcaster
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
RIP Sir Henry Cecil. An immeasurable loss to the sport you graced with humility, style and incomparable brilliance. Thank you.
So desperately sad to hear of the passing of the great Sir Henry Cecil. Racing & Newmarket especially just will not be same without him #RIP