Horse racing: Kranji-based Australian jockey Tim Bell dies in non-racing accident

Australian jockey Tim Bell.
Australian jockey Tim Bell.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Kranji-based Australian jockey Tim Bell has died in Singapore following a non-racing accident.

According to media reports from Australia, the 22-year-old fell from a high-rise apartment in Choa Chu Kang on Tuesday (Nov 3) night.

The 22-year-old was a rising star in the sport and rode 135 winners to win the 2013-14 Brisbane jockey's premiership in his first season as a senior jockey. He was runner-up last season.

The highlight of his career was capturing last year's Group 1 Queensland Oaks aboard Tinto.

He was in the midst of a three-month riding contract at the Singapore Turf Club (STC) and had rode a Group 3 winner on Oct 25, partnering Sebrose to victory in the $150,000 El Dorado Classic.

In a statement issued on Wednesday morning on its website, the STC said that "it would like to express its heartfelt condolences to Tim's family and friends".

Added Racing NSW's chief executive Peter V'landys: "This is terrible news. Tim's sudden death has come as a great shock to the entire racing industry.

"Tim was not only popular with his peers but also anyone he came in contact with. Tim was a loyal, positive person who had a drive to be successful.

"To lose someone so young and with such a gift for riding is simply tragic and devastating. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends."

In April 2014, another young Australian jockey Nathan Berry, who had been based in Singapore on a short-term riding contract, died.

The 23-year-old had been struck down by an illness, later diagnosed to be Norse syndrome, an acute condition related to epilepsy. He was flown back to Sydney where he died.

On hearing the news of Bell's death, Tommy Berry,  Nathan's twin brother, tweeted: "RIP bud, you will always be remembered as the life of the party. My thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful friends&family #willmissyabud"