RACING is in mourning after the 'shock' death of former jockey Dallon Holmes aged 25.
'Devastated' trainer Michael Bell, who Holmes was a work-rider for, is coming to terms with the loss of the 'lovely lad', report the Racing Post.
Holmes was found dead in his flat in Newmarket, Suffolk, on Sunday morning having been in work just the day before.
Bell, who is uncle to ITV presenter Oli, said the tragic death was a 'horrible shock'.
The 2005 Derby-winning trainer added: "What a waste as he was a lovely lad.
"All at the yard are having to come to terms with a loss, not least his brother George who is only 18 and who we are all looking after the best we can.
"I think Dallon was from a big family, who are all devastated, as you can imagine."
Holmes was from Burton upon Trent and had previously worked with Bell's fellow trainer David Simcock.
He said he was 'so sad' to hear of the passing and recalled Holmes riding for him at Newbury a few years ago.
Photos posted online showed a proud Holmes posing after finishing sixth on his first ride for the yard.
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Bell added: "He was a good rider and only rode work for me on Saturday after which it was his weekend off.
"It was coming up to the anniversary of his father dying prematurely from cancer a couple of years ago."
A post from the Amateur Jockeys body said: "We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dallon Holmes. May he rest in peace."
A message from one friend on Facebook read: "I am truly devastated. From living together for years and to him coming to America this year we really had been through it all together.
"When I used to be at my lowest he was the guy that would drag me out of it, wether it been physically, emotionally or financially he would always get me out of trouble.
"One of the best friends I could have ever asked for and I’m so so sorry I couldn’t have done more for you or helped you more."
While another message in Holmes' honour read: "Heaven gained an angel. I’ll always cherish our many memories shared together.
"I truly pray you’ve found peace, and you’re up there now having a catch up with your old man."
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