Sir Henry Cecil is to be formally remembered at this year’s Investec Derby Festival, at which the Investec Oaks will be run in his name.
The former Newmarket trainer, who died in June last year, saddled eight winners of the Epsom fillies’ Classic, most recently the Niarchos family’s Light Shift, in 2007.
Cecil’s first Oaks winner, in 1985, was the brilliant Oh So Sharp, who went on to take the fillies’ Triple Crown for Sheikh Mohammed.
“We are honoured to announce that the Investec Oaks has been named in memory of Sir
Henry Cecil for this year’s renewal,” said Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course, Epsom Downs Racecourse. “His record in this race was exceptional, and few present will ever forget the emotion generated following his 2007 win with Light Shift.”
Lady Cecil, who has taken over the training licence at the historic Warren Place, added: “I was delighted when I heard that Epsom wanted to celebrate Henry’s life and career by staging this year’s Investec Oaks in his memory.
“The Oaks is the Classic in which Henry enjoyed the greatest success with a total of eight victories. They were all special to him, but I can vividly recall his immense pleasure when Light Shift won the race in 2007 for the Niarchos Family. That was such a wonderful day for Henry and everyone at Warren Place.”
Cecil also won the Oaks with Diminuendo (1988), Snow Bride (1989), Lady Carla (1996), Reams Of Verse (1997), Ramruma (1999) and Love Divine (2000). His success at Epsom was not restricted to fillies, as he also trained four Derby winners – Slip Anchor (1985), Reference Point (1987), Commander In Chief (1993) and Oath (1999).