Tuesday 20 March 2018

Cheltenham winning jockey dies in holiday accident

CHELTENHAM Festival winning-jockey Campbell Gillies has reportedly died following an accident on holiday in Corfu.

The young rider enjoyed arguably his finest moment in the saddle when partnering Brindisi Breeze to victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Festival last March.

Gillies, who was also associated with the Willie Amos-trained Lie Forrit, primarily rode for Perth handler Lucinda Russell after joining her team in 2007.

Gillies' agent Paul Brierley said: "At the present time, all I can say is there has been an accident."

Fellow jockey Zander Voy tweeted: "I can't believe it. You only have 1 best friend and now he's gone. I'll never forget you @campbellgillies, love you pal. xxx."

Campbell's brother Finlay plays for rugby side Glasgow Warriors.

The club said in a statement: "Glasgow Warriors are deeply saddened to learn of the sad passing of Campbell Gillies, brother of Warriors hooker Finlay.

"A promising young jockey, Campbell shot to prominence when he rode Brindisi Breeze to victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle on Gold Cup day at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

"The thoughts of everyone at Glasgow Warriors are with Finlay and his family at this terrible time."

Racing personalities were quick to pay their respects to the 21-year-old Gillies on Twitter.

Former jockey and Racing UK presenter Niall Hannity tweeted: "Devastating news coming through that Campbell Gillies has lost his life in a accident whilst on holiday, thoughts with his family. RIP".

Gold Cup-winning jockey Paddy Brennan said: "The worst news you cud possibly hear. Campbell you will be sadly missed by us all. Great jockey & even better bloke #RIP."

Champion jockey Tony McCoy said: "Very sad news about Campbell Gillies a very good jockey but an even better bloke. All our thoughts are with his family RIP."

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