Top trainer Henry Cecil has been fined £3,000 and banned from driving for five years after admitting drink-driving when his car hit and injured an elderly couple.

Cecil appeared at Ely Magistrates Court where it was heard that the nine-times champion trainer was nearly two and a half times over the legal drink-drive limit.

His Mercedes car collided with pensioners Len and Joan Hurrell when they walked along the side of the B1063 near Newmarket at 5.30pm on 16 July. Mrs Hurrell, 77, suffered a broken arm and Mr Hurrell, 78, had cuts to his fingers and elbow.

It was Cecil’s second drink-drive offence in 10 years and he agreed to attend a drink-drive rehabilitation course, which will reduce his ban by 15 months.

The Warren Place has experienced a traumatic year in both his personal and professional life. After a very public break-up of his marriage to his second wife, Natalie he learned that his twin brother David had terminal cancer.

To compound matters he injured his back in a fall from his hack and spent three weeks in hospital. His Newmarket string has been suffering from a respiratory infection and by his own high standards he has had a disappointing season.

Even so, he has saddled Love Divine to win the Oaks at Epsom, sent Beat Hollow to France to carry off the coveted Grand Prix de Paris and has won over £1m in prize-money.