Also Known As: Captain Cecil Boyd-Rochfort
Champion trainer five times and the winner of 13 Classics, the elegant and diplomatic Cecil Boyd-Rochfort was knighted in 1968 on his retirement from having been the Royal trainer since 1943. In addition to all his Classic winners, his forte was preparing stayers, amongst them Raise You Ten, Apprentice and Gold Aura.
Boyd-Rochfort was a pupil trainer at the Grately Stable in Wiltshire and two years later became Assistant Trainer to Captain Dewhurst at Bedford Lodge, Newmarket. In 1912 he was appointed Racing Manager to Sir Ernest Cassel, for whom he bought Hapsburg as a yearling in 1912. Wounded at the Somme, he attained the rank of Captain before returning to Sir Ernest and also taking on the horses of Mr Marshall Field.
After Sir Ernest Cassell's death in 1921, Boyd-Rochfort eventually bought his own stable at Freemason Lodge, where Joseph Childs was his stable jockey until he retired in 1935. His first good horse was Royal Minstrel, and first Classic winner was Brown Betty, for the wealthy American Mr William Woodward.
Joseph Childs was succeeded by P T Beasley as stable jockey, and by the end of 1937 Boyd-Rochfort was leading trainer. His well-balanced string was drastically reduced during the second world war, but in 1943 he was asked to take over the training of the King's horses as the Royal Trainer, William Jarvis, was unwell. Boyd-Rochfort provided the King with his only home-bred Classic, with Hypericum in 1946 in the 1000 Guineas, but he won many other races for him, with horses ridden by W H Carr and, on occasion, Eph Smith.
Boyd-Rochfort remained as the Royal trainer on the accession of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Much of his success was due to teamwork and in particular the contribution of Boyd-Rochfort's assistant, Bruce Hobbs. 1959 was a great year for Boyd-Rochfort when he won the Derby at last as well as 32 other races, but his success waned over the last nine seasons in which he trained. Nevertheless he still had a number of good stayers.
At the end of 1968 Boyd-Rochfort retired and handed over his string to his stepson Henry Cecil.