He was not prone to hyperbole, even after training 25 British Classic winners, but a clue when he had a good thoroughbred on his hands would be when he walked away from the press pack, only to sometimes return and add another detail about him or her.
Cecil was born in Aberdeen and had a twin brother, David, plus two older brothers. Their mother, Rohays, was the daughter of a baronet, while their father, also Henry, was the younger brother of Lord Amherst of Hackney. Only a fortnight before the birth of the twins, Cecil Sr, 28, was killed in action with the Parachute Regiment in North Africa.
Rohays moved her young family to Wickhambrook, near Newmarket, where her late husband had been given a house and farm by his brother. There she met five-time champion trainer Captain Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, who was based at Freemason Lodge, and the couple were soon married.
Henry had no background in horses and, by his own admission, was not good at much at all as a youngster, other than having fun. He became assistant trainer to his stepfather in late 1964 and, when he retired, four years later, took over what remained of his string, initially at Freemason Lodge before moving to rented accommodation in Hamilton Road. By now, he was also married to the first of his three wives, Julie Murless, daughter of legendary trainer Sir Noel Murless.