Australian horse racing world struck by Katsidis' death

23:04, October 19, 2010      

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The Australian racing industry on Tuesday has been mourning the death of champion Queensland jockey Stathi Katsidis.

Katsidis, 31, a multiple Group One-winning rider, was found dead in his home at Hendra, on Brisbane's northside, on Tuesday morning.

The cause of death is unknown, but police believe there are no suspicious circumstances, and are awaiting autopsy results.

According to Australia Associated Press, Katsidis had been on top of the racing world after a year which delivered a Magic Millions Classic on Gold Coast filly Military Rose, and the AJC Australian Derby and Randwick Guineas on Shoot Out.

His Group One-winning tally stood at six, following earlier victories on Allow in the 2006 Queensland Oaks, Nova Star (2007 Winter Stakes), Gold Edition (2007 Manikato Stakes) before Shoot Out's elite-level successes.

Katsidis was supposed to pair with Shoot Out in Saturday's Cox Plate showdown against reigning champion So You Think and glamour mare More Joyous.

Katsidis, a three-time premiership winner in Brisbane, were also expected to win the Melbourne Cup, which held on the first Tuesday in November, pairing with Shoot Out.

According to Shoot Out's trainer John Wallace, Katsidis' death leaves a big hole in the Queensland racing community.

"I think a lot of people have been shocked today because I don't think Stathi (Katsidis) had an enemy," Wallace told ABC News on Tuesday.

"It'll be a big loss. Let him rest in peace. I know he'll be up there trying to help Shoot Out along."

Queensland premier Anna Bligh said Katsidis was much loved by the racing fraternity.

"I'm not aware of the circumstances of his very tragic death but I send my condolences to his family," Bligh told Australia Associated Press.

Meanwhile, with a history of alcohol and drug-related problems, substance abuse is thought to be the cause of Katsidis' death.

However, his racing manager Trevor Lansky told ABC News that it is premature to say if drugs were involved.

Source: Xinhua


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