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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to a genius
This is a very thorough biography of a very talented and charismatic man. It includes the ups with the downs and is not afraid to include some parts which others may have omitted. It gives the whole history of the family, his upbringing and various misdemeanors on the way. A very entertaining and ultimately tragic story.
Published 8 months ago by Laura

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
The book is fine - Henry Cecil was a great man but, the quality of printing and paper in my copy is dreadful.
Published 9 months ago by Denise Reeves


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to a genius, 13 Nov 2013
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This is a very thorough biography of a very talented and charismatic man. It includes the ups with the downs and is not afraid to include some parts which others may have omitted. It gives the whole history of the family, his upbringing and various misdemeanors on the way. A very entertaining and ultimately tragic story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Henry Cecil: Trainer of Genius - a great read for any racing lover, 10 May 2013
I got this book initally for my mother who is a huge fan of racing. However, I couldn't resist reading it first. The adventures of the last two years with Frankel were pure heaven and I had real trouble putting the book down. I enjoyed the early chapters on Henry Cecil's background and childhood. It was fascinating to read about Cecil's early years in Newmarket then when he took over from his father-in-law. The author, Brough Scott, has clearly done his research. The photographs throughout the text and the colour photo sections bring the book to life. As the title implies, Brough Scott has written a fascinating portrait of a training 'genius'. Cecil is an exceptional trainer and this book confirms that. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in racing. I might have to buy another copy for my mother!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Account of an Extraordinary Man, 9 Jun 2013
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ACB (swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Henry Cecil: Trainer of Genius (Kindle Edition)
I deliberated for some time before buying and reading Brough Scott's biography of Henry Cecil and his career. The reluctance of the champion trainer to endorse a book containing personal demons was the reason. Having said that, and understanding Cecil's feelings in digging up the dirt, Brough Scott has written the most comprehensive and honest book of a man who was born in a privileged world, yet strove to be a champion amongst champions. The personal issues are well-known. He has coped with them and his illness with dignity. Celebrity brings publicity and the author has handled this well within the context of the person who is Henry Cecil.

His background and introduction to racing were inevitable. His trainer step-father and royal trainer, Cecil Boyd Rochfort, and father-in-law, brilliant Irish trainer (Noel Murless) projected him into the spotlight. His marriage to Julie, Warren Stables, Bolkonski to Frankel, all befell him. A seemingly modest man of carefully chosen words, he embraced the advice of others. He had the best jockeys queuing for his horses. Joe Mercer, Piggott, Cauthen, Queally, all masters of their trade.

This book is a loving, forthright and balanced view of a complex man. His achievements are on record. The dip in his life and recovery are examples of tenacity and self-belief. 'The water closes over your head. It always does. It's like being dead'. When Henry witnessed Frankel's last victory in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, his delight was obvious. So was the look on his face and short interview. Go out with the champion together.

The couplet (anonymous) but well-known in racing circles, would haunt Henry at Newmarket, but he inevitably moved on. Given the necessary equine material, courtesy of his wealthy owners, Henry can and does deliver. Frankel is still in the mind but this book recalls the other successful landmarks with horses of proven ability. Ten times champion trainer, 25 British Classics, four Derby winners, Henry Cecil is a genius with horses. His media handling reveals the shy but necessary role of his image. It is hard to dislike him. He has charm, charisma and bravery. His training achievements are well-documented. Set against the background of his fight with cancer, they are latterly incredible. Henry Cecil never opened-up about his his illness, always modest with his achievements and successes, nor did he seek to be publicised as others may have done. Another fact of life dealing the cards. A true gentleman and a brilliant read. Never to be forgotten nor dismissed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 9 Oct 2013
By 
James A. Hicken (Northants England) - See all my reviews
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Like thousands of people, I loved Henry Cecil. He was a wonderful gentleman as well as the best trainer ever.
i bumped into him from time to time at races and sales, and he was unfailingly polite - sheer class. I spent a little more time with his brother David who was of course cut from the same cloth. Another lovely man.
I have little to add to the generally fullsome reviews I have just read, but agree that Brough Scott has done a brilliant job of telling the story and analysing the character with huge affection but without sycophancy. He handles the Julie/ Nathalie/Jane axis really well. As with Frankel, we will never see Henry's like again. Good luck to Jane. Scott's photo of her with Henry relaxing on the grass on the gallops brought tears to my eyes
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant Read, 5 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Henry Cecil: Trainer of Genius (Kindle Edition)
For everyone who loves horses and especially racing, I would class it as essential reading. Brough Scott writes with wit and a great knowledge of his subject ( rather too much, I suspect from Henry Cecil's point of view)?!
I am enjoying it immensely, and love remembering all the wonderful horses and jockeys of years gone by.
Buy it now!.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 16 May 2013
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Good book truthfully written. Reveals just what a genius of a trainer and a successful person this man has been.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, excellent biography., 14 May 2013
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This review is from: Henry Cecil: Trainer of Genius (Kindle Edition)
Thoroughly enjoyable, informative book about Henry Cecil, about his training successes and defeats and more interestingly, about overcoming major problems in his life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brough Scott give up the cheap shots!!, 2 Jun 2013
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I remember some years ago when Natalie found out I was learning to ride horses in conversation at a garden centre I used to work at. Some days later a phone call from Natalie was to change my life, Sir Henry gave me a retired horse name Double Dagger. So Mr. Scott, try using good things to sell your book and not the bad times we all go through in life.

Apart from the above this is a great book to read. Sir Henry Cecil is not a trainer, when it comes to horses he is a Genius!! He is also a man so well liked in Newmarket and in many ways a very humble man. I remember my ageing mum tell me that a man rushed to hold the door open for her at Tindals our paper shop in Newmarket. She was so supprised as there are so many trainers that feel they would be a class too high to carry out such a kindly action.

Sir Henry, thank you for all the pleasure you have given so many people watching the horses you trained to win! and thank you for sharing such an interesting life with us.

Best Book of Year.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read, 12 April 2013
Brough Scott's book about Sir Henry Cecil is one of the most interesting and enjoyable biographies that I have read. Cecil is a fascinating man whose colourful life, like so many people with special talents, has amazing highs and counter-balancing lows. It is what makes him a man who appeals to so many people. Quite apart from his absolutely extraordinary achievements as a trainer of world famous thoroughbreds, Cecil's early family history is of real historic interest and his progress to becoming a revered figure in the racing world and in Newmarket in particular makes an exceptionally fine read. It surprised me to see on his website that he is not happy with details in the book that touch on unfortunate events in his life but history repeatedly shows that no-one is without flaws and a complete picture of anyone has to be just that - complete. Brough Scott sums it up in the Epilogue to the book where he describes his portrait as 'affectionate, admiring but .... necessarily realistic'.
If I had to choose one word to describe Sir Henry it would be courageous. Courageous to have survived everything that life has thrown at him especially his long, debilitating and ongoing fight against cancer.
I wish him all the best in the future and think he should be proud of his life to date.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cracking Story, 13 April 2013
'Such tales,' Brough Scott writes in this compelling book, 'are the hot coals around which racing people warm their hands on winters' nights.' Well not just racing folk, let me tell you. This book is gripping for everyone from start to finish.

The tales are all about Sir Henry Cecil, his rise, fall and redemption. Meat and drink for Scott who has always written so well about heroic figures and their trials and tribulations. Not content to merely repeat the impressive list of Cecil's winners, Scott gives a wonderful insight into the special chemistry between this man and his horses. `Genius' is a word to be used sparingly but Scott pins it to the tall frame of the trainer with admiration.

It was almost too good to be true and what makes this such a good biography is Scott's handling of the years when Cecil's touch deserts him, privately and professionally. Marriage problems and illness are the background to his years in the semi-wilderness and Scott's approach is far from the lurid `kiss and tell' of the tabloids. The difficult years make the glory days all the more remarkable and the way Cecil fights his way back to the top is well observed and gives real power to the driving narrative of the book. And to top it off we have Frankel, the greatest horse of his or any other generation, trained to perfection by the great man.

The years of success are wonderfully described and so are the darker times. One without the other would have made a duller book. Brough Scott has brought to life the often arcane, sheltered world of racing and given us a cracking story.
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