Newmarket Racecourses is to celebrate the life and career of Sir Henry Cecil with tributes to the legendary trainer at next month’s July Meeting.
Sir Henry, who died a year ago after a long battle with cancer, loved the July Course and particularly enjoyed its three-day summer showpiece.
Now to commemorate the huge contribution the Warren Place trainer made to the sport, a race on the opening day, Thursday July 10, will be named in his honour.
The one mile listed race for three year olds formerly known as the Stubbs Stakes will this year be staged as the Hastings Direct Sir Henry Cecil Stakes and the Cecil name will be attached to the race in perpetuity.
The second part of Newmarket Racecourses’ tribute will see winning connections presented with a rose button-hole fromcome from the garden at Warren Place that Cecil cultivated and loved so much.
Newmarket Racecourses have placed an order for the newly named Sir Henry Cecil rose which will be delivered in November next year. The bloom, which is white with a cream reverse and was first bred by Robert Webster in 2013, will be presented to the winning connections of the race in the future as well as being showcased around the July Course.
“It is very kind of Newmarket Racecourses to run a race in Henry’s name,” said Lady Cecil. It is especially fitting that race will be staged at the July Festival, which was always one of his three very favourite meetings.
“I am grateful, too, to Newmarket for its gesture in commissioning the ‘Sir Henry Cecil’ rose for display at the July Course. Everyone knew that roses were one of Henry’s passions and to have the Sir Henry Cecil bloom present at the July Course, which he loved, seems very appropriate.”
Newmarket racecourses boss Amy Starkey said: “Sir Henry Cecil was loved throughout the world of racing and beyond – no more so than here in the town of Newmarket where he trained for more than 40 years. As such, we wanted to develop a fitting tribute to one of the sport’s greatest figures and felt it important to work with Lady Cecil to deliver this in the best possible way.
“Staging the Hastings Direct Sir Henry Cecil Stakes will ensure that he will be remembered at the July Festival every year. It is a race that was upgraded to Listed status in 2013 and we are confident that its prestige and importance will grow. We hope, too, that Sir Henry would appreciate our celebration of the wonderful man that he was with the commissioning of the striking Sir Henry Cecil rose.”