Mr Fothergill's Seeds names sweet pea in memory of top horse trainer Sir Henry Cecil

A new sweet pea variety has been named after the multi-race winning horse trainer Sir Henry Cecil who died from cancer in June.

The chocolate flake variety flower was bred by renowned hybridist Dr Keith Hammett in New Zealand and is being released by Mr Fothergill's Seeds for the 2014 season.

The company is located in Kentford near Newmarket where Sir Henry, a keen gardener, was based.

He was ten times champion trainer and won 25 Classics, the Oaks eight times, the 1,000 Guineas six times, and won four Epsom Derbies, three 2,000 Guineas and four St Legers.

But Sir Henry is probably best known for training Frankel, a superstar among thoroughbreds who has never been beaten.

Racecourses across the country held a minute’s silence and jockeys wore black armbands at Royal Ascot after Sir Henry died.

Fothergill's invited his widow Lady Jane Cecil to its annual press day yesterday to present her with a bunch of the flowers and ask her to "christen" it after her husband.

A clearly emotional Lady Jane said he would have been honoured.

Forthergill's commercial director Tim Jeffries said: "Sir Henry was greatly admired and loved in the racing community and was known as a great character in our home town."

Speaking after the ceremony Lady Jane said Sir Henry had never been to the nursery but would have loved it as he loved his garden.

"Henry would've been delighted to have been asked. It's quite a special thing to have a sweet pea named after you. It's such a well-loved flower.

"It's lovely that a locally-based company would think about honouring Henry, it came out of the blue and is very special."

A packet of 20 Sweet Pea Sir Henry Cecil seeds will be priced at £1.99.


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