Calling all Frankel fans: racing legend stars in own TV documentary

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  • A one-hour documentary on Frankel and his trainer Sir Henry Cecil will be shown on Channel 4 this weekend.

    The programme, entitled The Trainer and the Racehorse: The Legend of Frankel, will air on Saturday 13 June at 7pm.

    It is part of the Channel’s build up to next week’s Royal Meeting at Ascot (16-20 June).

    According to Channel 4, the documentary “tells the story of how Frankel became the ultimate champion racehorse and transformed the last years of charismatic trainer Sir Henry Cecil”.

    Frankel, who is owned by Prince Khaled Abdullah, now stands at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket. He retired in 2012 after being unbeaten in 14 races.

    Throughout his career Frankel delighted racing fans and drew in crowds. His trainer Sir Henry died of cancer in 2013.

    “Amid all the glamour and glory that surrounds both Frankel and Sir Henry this is a story that pulls at the heartstrings and proves there is such a thing as a second chance at life,” said director Chris Durlacher.

    “Whether or not you’re a horseracing fan, it’s deeply moving how Sir Henry fought back from rock bottom to train Frankel, a horse that didn’t just win but raced like nobody had ever seen before.”

    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.

    Other contributors include The Guardian racing correspondent Chris Cook, Prince Khaled Abdullah’s racing manager Lord Grimthorpe and Dr Charles Crawley, who retells Sir Henry’s resilient approach to metastatic cancer.

    Producer Jeremy Bradshaw, of Oxford Scientific Films, said: “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.”

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