Frankel will slowly prepare for life as a stallion at Banstead Manor Stud near Newmarket after bowing out with a perfect record of 14 wins from 14 starts in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
It was not as pretty to watch as so many of his other majestic performances but true legends still triumph in adversity and Frankel ran out a convincing winner over Cirrus Des Aigles in spite of worries over the soft ground.
Frankel’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, who remained a loyal supporter of Cecil through the trainer’s lean times earlier this century, confirmed his charge would now head to his breeding operation.
“He’ll let down first back at Warren Place Stables and come to Banstead Manor when he’s ready,” Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Abdullah, said.
“He’s been on high octane fuel so it’s a gradual letting-down process and when everyone is happy he will come to the stud.
“Interest in him as a stallion has been worldwide and I mean from every part of the world.”
Grimthorpe paid tribute to Cecil who has not only battled hard times but also ill health.
“Henry’s re-emergence as a trainer is not just one of the greatest stories in sport but one of the all-time great sports stories generally,” Grimthorpe said.
“He is very determined and his handling of this horse is masterly.
“He was determined to do the right thing by the horse and taught him to settle, which you saw today.
“We must also mention Thomas P Queally, They have grown into one of the great sporting partnerships.”
Queally admitted his mount was not entirely at home in the conditions but this was not enough to stop him surging through to the front and the jockey remained motionless a furlong from home.
If any more context were needed as to Frankel’s place as the horse of modern times, it came when his regular whipping boy Excelebration scorched clear just over half an hour earlier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Cecil, who is held apart from perhaps all others by the racing community in terms of popularity, remains unwell but was visibly moved by a quite extraordinary reception.
“He didn’t like the ground much, but he was very relaxed,” he said.
“He’s the best I’ve ever had. He’s the best I’ve ever seen. I’d be surprised if there’s ever been any better.”