‘Hurt’ Ce­cil re­fuses to en­dorse bi­og­ra­phy

Irish Examiner - Racing - - RACING - By Tom Pea­cock

Henry Ce­cil ad­mit­ted he is “hurt” and “up­set” by the contents of a new bi­og­ra­phy writ­ten by vet­eran jour­nal­ist Brough Scott.

Ce­cil is­sued a state­ment on Thurs­day evening to ex­plain why he would not be sign­ing copies of the new Rac­ing Postpub­lished book, which is re­leased to­day.

The leg­endary trainer said he reg­u­larly signs books and race­cards re­lated to for­mer sta­ble star Frankel, as well as copies of a pre­vi­ous book about him, but will not be en­dors­ing Scott’s new tome as he feels the con­cept of the book was changed with­out con­sul­ta­tion.

He told www.sirhen­ryce­cil.com: “Over the years I have been asked by count­less peo­ple, in­clud­ing Brough Scott, if they could write my bi­og­ra­phy.

“As there have been some un­happy and dif­fi­cult phases in my life, for the sake of my fam­ily, es­pe­cially my chil­dren, I have al­ways said no.

“How­ever, when Brough Scott vis­ited me the year be­fore last and told me that the Rac­ing Post wanted him to write a trib­ute book about my train­ing ca­reer in the same style as the Tony McCoy book (that he edited) I agreed, al­beit with reser­va­tions.

“I made it very clear to Brough Scott that it was not to in­clude cer­tain ar­eas of my life. I do not like to look back and pre­fer to look to the fu­ture.

“With horses to train and my on­go­ing treat­ment, I ex­plained to Brough Scott that I did not have the time to go through the his­tory of my train­ing ca­reer.

“To as­sist him with the nec­es­sary re­search Brough Scott was there­fore given a huge amount of ac­cess to my fam­ily, friends and staff – both old and cur­rent.

“At no point did Brough Scott ex­plain to me that the con­cept of the book had changed to in­clude some un- happy and dif­fi­cult phases in my life that I had told him to leave and that I would have to trust him to tell the story as best he could.

“If Brough Scott had come to me to ex­plain this change I would have un­doubt­edly with­drawn my co­op­er­a­tion and I am sure my fam­ily and friends would have fol­lowed suit.

“Brough Scott would also not have con­tin­ued to en­joy the un­par­al­leled ac­cess he had to War­ren Place and Frankel.

“Al­though I see some edit­ing has been done I feel there is still a large amount of need­less fo­cus on my pri­vate life. On the whole I also found the book rather bor­ing and lack­ing in hu­mour – some­thing which I hope I am not!

“It is such a shame as Brough Scott has ob­vi­ously put a lot of time and ef­fort into the book and there are in­ter­est­ing parts. None­the­less, I can­not ex­press my dis­ap­point­ment strongly enough.

“I hope peo­ple will un­der­stand why I find it all so up­set­ting and hurt­ful for my fam­ily – and re­alise the rea­sons why I can­not en­dorse the book and do not want to sign it.

“I am very anx­ious to avoid peo­ple the dis­ap­point­ment and cost of send­ing me copies to be signed as this is not some­thing which I am com­fort­able about do­ing. I do not wish to dis­cuss this book any fur­ther.

“I want to put this stress­ful ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind me and con­cen­trate on be­ing healthy and train­ing my horses.”

Scott feels his book has done jus­tice to the Newmarket han­dler, al­though he was “dis­ap­pointed” to hear of Ce­cil’s dis­sat­is­fac­tion.

He told the Tele­graph: “I’m dis­ap­pointed and sad. If you read the book, it is an ad­mir­ing, af­fec­tion­ate, but re­al­is­tic, por­trait of an ex­tra­or­di­nary man, who has en­joyed an ex­cep­tional ca­reer.

Scott ex­plained the out­line of the book had changed when Frankel’s ca­reer had taken off.

He said: “I am not a per­son who is renowned for be­tray­ing trusts.”

NO LAUGH­ING MAT­TER: Henry Ce­cil found the book bor­ing and lack­ing in hu­mour.

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