In the build-up to Royal Ascot (June 16 – 20th) and in recognition of the late Sir Henry Cecil, Channel 4 will broadcast a one-hour documentary entitled: The Trainer and the Racehorse: The Legend of Frankel.
Broadcast on Saturday, 13th June at 7pm – this documentary tells the story of how Frankel became the ultimate champion racehorse and transformed the last years of charismatic trainer Sir Henry Cecil.
After 25 years at the top, Sir Henry Cecil’s career had been in steep decline. But then he was given Frankel to train – who would become the greatest racehorse ever seen. Training Frankel to be the best gave Cecil the strength to regain his racing career and once again become one of the most successful racehorse trainers in the world. At the end of his life, he and the champion superhorse Frankel created a legend.
Many individuals associated with the great horse and trainer are featured in the documentary from his work rider Shane Fetherstonhaugh, to head lass Dee Deacon, Lady Jane Cecil, wife of the late Sir Henry Cecil and his youngest son, Jake, who recalls his father’s greatest attributes.
Other contributors to ‘The Trainer and the Racehorse: The Legend of Frankel’ include The Guardian racing correspondent Chris Cook, Lord Grimthorpe and Dr Charles Crawley who retells Sir Henry’s resilient approach to metastatic cancer.
The Trainer and the Racehorse: The Legend of Frankel was commissioned by Channel 4’s David Glover and produced by Oxford Scientific Films – makers of the acclaimed ‘How to Win the Grand National ‘which was first shown on Channel 4 in 2013.
Steve Lyle, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Sport, said: “This documentary is a wonderful addition to our vast Royal Ascot broadcast and launches what is set to be a tremendous week of top class sport on Channel 4. The Trainer and the Racehorse: The Legend of Frankel also be available to view online and through our VOD service.”
“Frankel is considered the greatest flat horse of all-time and we are delighted to have been commissioned to take a look back at the extraordinary partnership between horse and trainer. The documentary features many of the great moments in Frankel’s glittering career and Sir Henry’s uniquely intuitive ability to understand racehorses. It is appropriate that Channel 4 viewers can relive this great association ahead of the prestigious Royal Meeting,” said Jeremy Bradshaw, Producer for Oxford Scientific Films.
Chris Durlacher, Director of The Trainer and the Racehorse: The Legend of Frankel, adds: “Amidst all the glamour and glory that surrounds both Frankel and Henry Cecil, this is a story that pulls at the heartstrings and proves there is such a thing as a second chance at life. Whether or not you’re a horseracing fan, it’s deeply moving how Cecil fought back from rock bottom to train Frankel, a horse that didn’t just win but raced like nobody had ever seen before.”
Alice Keens-Soper, Executive Producer, said: “The story of Frankel and Sir Henry Cecil is a story of obsession, redemption and ultimately hope. It’s certainly one of the greatest sporting stories ever told; but it’s more than that – it will appeal to racing enthusiasts and the general public alike – because it’s about universal themes than everyone can identify with.”