Campbell Gillies: tragically lost his life on holidayPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Jockey Campbell Gillies dies in holiday tragedy
CAMPBELL GILLIES, who secured the biggest win of his racing career on Brindisi Breeze in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival this year, has died while on holiday.
Campbell Gillies winning Albert Bartlett on Brindisi BreezePICTURE: Edward Whitaker
According to local police, Gillies, who would have been 22 on Wednesday, died following a swimming pool accident on the Greek island of Corfu on Tuesday morning.
Gillies, who rode over 50 winners for Brindisi Breeze's trainer Lucinda Russell, had ridden as recently as Sunday at Hexham before going on holiday to the resort of Kavos the following day, where the tragedy occurred.
Gillies had gone on holiday with Mark Ellwood, one of Russell's head lads, and jockeys Nathan Moscrop, Harry Haynes and Henry Brooke.
"We once again ask that everyone give Campbell's family the respect and privacy they deserve at this time."
Later, local police did subsequently report that Gillies and his friends returned from an evening out and went for a morning swim at around 8am local time (6am BST). Gillies was swimming in the pool, went under the surface and failed to come back up. Police reported no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
Winner of 131 races under rules in Britain, Gillies enjoyed his best ever campaign in 2011-12 with 38 winners and had ridden four winners so far this season.
Tributes have been flooding in on Twitter, with Alexander Voy among his weighing-room colleagues to express their sadness.
He wrote: "I can't believe it. You only have one best friend and now he's gone. I'll never forget you @campbellgillies, love you pal xxx."
The Injured Jockeys' Fund issued a press release on Tuesday morning. It read: "The Injured Jockeys' Fund joins the whole racing community to extend its sincerest condolences to Campbell's family at this tragic time. We will be doing all that we can to assist the family and remaining jockeys still in Corfu.
"Campbell was a hugely popular jockey and will be sorely missed by all of his friends and colleagues".