Frankel did Sir Henry proud on the Knavesmire this afternoon. I remembered I had written a paean of praise to the man previously and as he greeted Frankel today I thought that although Sir Henry is clearly not as well as we would like, nothing in his manner around his horses has changed.
To see him with Frankel, looking him over, giving him a scratch – it was the best thing.
Henry Cecil’s talent has straddled racing for decades, yet a more unassuming and diffident gentleman you could not hope to meet (although one would hope to meet him).
I have seen him, with his horses, up close a few times and I am always taken with how he looks at his horses. I have probably mentioned it before. His head is usually slightly to one side as if he is listening to what they cannot say, and his eyes literally drink them in. It is the look of love, but it is more than that. It is also the look that confirms the adage the eye of the Master maketh the horse.
Sir Henry’s eye has made many a horse, and we can look forward to seeing his latest, and perhaps eventually greatest, superstar Frankel on Tuesday in the St James’ Palace Stakes at Ascot.
After Frankel’s scintillating 2000 Guineas…
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