By Simon Jackson.
Lady Cecil will retire from training at the end of the season and has confirmed that the executors of her late husband are in the process of finalising the sale of Warren Place Stables.
Lady Cecil took over the licence at the historic yard in Newmarket after the death of Sir Henry Cecil in 2013. She enjoyed immediate success as her first runner won at Nottingham later that month.
Sir Henry won the trainers’ championship 10 times and bagged four Epsom Derbys in an illustrious career spanning over 40 years that was perhaps highlighted by his sublime handling of the mighty Frankel.
Sir Henry’s career was all the more remarkable for the way he burst back to prominence in recent seasons, while all the time battling cancer.
“Training, for me, has always been about working with the horses and the team here at Warren Place,” Lady Cecil said. “That has been a major factor in why I have continued since Henry died two years ago.”
“Therefore, I confirm that at the end of the Flat season, I will stop training. Until then, the team and I will continue to work hard to achieve as much as we can with the horses.
“I would like to thank my owners for their much appreciated on-going support. They have been fantastic over the last two years and I can’t thank them enough for their understanding and help.”
Lady Cecil’s greatest success on the racetrack was with multiple Group 1 winner Noble Mission who won the 2014 QIPCO Champion Stakes which the trainer described as a ‘fairytale result.
Noble Mission’s success in the £1.3million feature race on British Champions Day emulated that of his full-brother Frankel, who was retired unbeaten after landing the Champion Stakes in 2012.
“I knew that if he won it would be a fairytale and it absolutely was,” Lady Cecil said after Noble Mission and James Doyle had led from the outset and then repelled the determined challenge of Al Kazeem.
“James gave him a brilliant ride – we knew the horse was in the form of his life, but we hardly dared to dream it could happen. It’s a tough race and he absolutely toughed it out.
“I thought it was all over [when Al Kazeem edged ahead], but he just dug deep and James gave him an incredible ride. This is so special because of what happened two years ago. I keep thinking I’m in a dream and will wake up. It has come true hasn’t it?
“I had my head in my hands in the closing stages because I didn’t think he would hang on, but he’s so brave. Martin, his groom who rides him every day and virtually sleeps in his box, said he was in the best form. I’ve had so much support from so many people and I’m so grateful.”
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