Poignant day at Hexham as Russell saddles Gillies memorial winner
CAMPBELL Gillies, the young Scottish jumps rider, who died in a holiday accident earlier this year, was honoured at Hexham racecourse yesterday – the venue where he rode his first and last winners – before there was an emotional winner of the race named after the 21-year-old.
Gillies was part of Lucinda Russell’s team, based at Arlary House near Kinross, and it could not be more fitting that she saddled the winner of the Campbell Gillies Memorial Handicap Chase. Lucky Sunny, ridden by Peter Buchanan, secured the emotional triumph as racegoers remembered the Haddington jockey who tragically drowned in a swimming pool in Corfu in June.
“Very proud to win Campbell’s race,” a delighted Russell said on her Twitter account. The trainer also received many messages of congratulations on the success.
Earlier at the Hexham meeting, Gillies’s mother had unveiled a plaque in her son’s honour on a new building at the course, which will provide accommodation for stable staff.
Gillies – the brother of Glasgow Warriors’ hooker Finlay – was one of the rising stars of the National Hunt riding scene and his career highlight was when he combined with Russell to win the prestigious Albert Bartlett Novices’s Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March.
He rode more than 120 winners in his career, including more than 50 with Russell.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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