The races at Kempton Park had to be called off after a worker died in one of the stables yard.

Ken Dooley, in his 50s, was a training stables worker and died in as yet unexplained circumstances at one of the country's best-known racecourses yesterday (October 14).

Trainer Amanda Perrett, who employed Mr Dooley at her yard in West Sussex, confirmed that he was the victim.

She said: "It is with huge sadness that I can confirm we lost our friend and colleague Ken Dooley after an incident in the stable yard at Kempton last night.

"Ken had been with us for seven years and was a very special member of our close-knit family business at Coombelands.

"He was an excellent employee, very experienced with racehorses having worked all of his life with them as a jockey, trainer and jockey coach around the world.

"He was always first into work in the morning, hugely enthusiastic and dedicated to his horses and a very much valued and integral member of our team."

Surrey Police said it was called to Kempton Park on Saturday night around 9.20pm following a report of a "sudden death".

An investigation is under way into the incident that prompted organisers to abandon the remainder of the evening's programme.

A force spokesperson said: "Surrey Police were called to Kempton Park racecourse in Sunbury-on-Thames following a report of a sudden death around 9.20pm on Saturday October 14.

"A man in his 50s was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. The death is currently being treated as unexplained and enquiries remain ongoing."

Staff and jockeys at other racecources in the UK have been wearing black armbands as a mark of respect.

Kempton clerk of the course Barney Clifford said doctors were called in after a person suffered "a serious injury in the stable yard".

Doctors had been with the individual, Mr Clifford said.

Steve Parlett, general manager at Kempton Park Racecourse, said: "All the team here are shocked and upset by the sad loss of a training stables employee last night. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are very much with his family, friends and colleagues."