There was a feeling of divine intervention on Thursday when Frankel’s younger half-brother Morpheus gave Lady Cecil a winning start to her training career at Nottingham.
Lady Cecil was granted a temporary licence following the death of her husband Sir Henry Cecil on Tuesday. Formerly Jane McKeown, she had been his secretary before they married in 2008.
“This was for Henry and also all the staff who have been so supportive,” she said. “Morpheus did it so well. He’s taken time to get his act together but that was very pleasing.”
Morpheus (3c Oasis Dream – Kind by Danehill) gave the grieving yard a welcome win in the ABG Law Classic Maiden Stakes (1675m) at his third start this term. The Juddmonte homebred started an odds-on favourite and then powered clear to score by more than four lengths.
His dam Kind has now produced five winners from five foals to race. Frankel (Galileo) finished his career unbeaten in 14 starts and is currently serving his first book at Juddmonte’s Banstead Manor Stud.
The Danehill mare has also foaled Group 3 winners Bullet Train (Sadler’s Wells) and Noble Mission (Galileo) and her two year-old filly Joyeuse (Oasis Dream) was a very impressive debut winner at Lingfield last month.
Shortly after Morpheus crossed the line, Royal Ascot spokesman Johnny Weatherby announced next Friday’s G3 Queen’s Vase had been renamed ‘The Queen’s Vase In Memory of Sir Henry Cecil’.
Cecil won the Queen’s Vase 8 times. Jockeys riding in the race will wear black armbands, while there will also be a minute’s silence on the opening day of the meeting next Tuesday, after the arrival of the royal procession.
Lady Cecil will accompany the Countess of Wessex for the trophy presentation following the Queen’s Vase. “It’s such an honour for his family,” she told BBC Sport. “Henry identified Disclaimer for the race straight after he won at Goodwood last month. Let’s hope it can be a very special day.”