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Page last updated at 06:33 GMT, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 07:33 UK

Australian jockey Stathi Katsidis found dead

Stathi Katsidis
Katsidis was enjoying his greatest year in the saddle

Leading Australian jockey Stathi Katsidis has been found dead at his Brisbane home a fortnight before he was due to ride in the Melbourne Cup.

Police say there are no suspicious circumstances around the death of the multiple Group One-winning rider.

Queensland champion jockey Katsidis, 31, is the brother of top professional boxer Michael Katsidis.

He was due to ride Australian Derby winner Shoot Out in the Cox Plate on Saturday and November's Melbourne Cup.

His death has stunned the Australian racing community, which is gearing up for the famous 2 November contest, known as the race which stops a nation.

"He told me he couldn't wait to get to Melbourne and that he'd be down on Thursday," said Shoot Out trainer John Wallace. "It's a total shock."

606: DEBATE

In the past, Katsidis had battled weight and drug problems. He served a nine-month ban after testing positive for ecstasy in 2008, but had made a successful comeback.

Toowoomba-born Katsidis clocked up more than 170 winners last season. In January, he rode filly Military Rose to victory in the Gold Coast's Magic Millions.

He claimed the Group One Randwick Guineas and Australian Derby on Shoot Out, with the pair due to team up again in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

"He was a terrific guy, loaded with ability and is going to be sadly missed," said jockey Corey Brown, who won the 2009 Melbourne Cup on Shocking.

"He was riding the crest of a wave, riding a very good horse in Shoot Out. For something like this to happen, I really just can't understand it."

Michael Katidis defeated local fighter Kevin Mitchell at Upton Park in east London in May to retain his WBO interim lightweight crown.

He has been in Thailand training for a fight in Las Vegas on 27 November against WBA and WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez.



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see also
Khan 'ducking bout with Katsidis'
02 Jun 10 |  Boxing
Classy Katsidis destroys Mitchell
15 May 10 |  Boxing
Shocking claims Melbourne Cup win
03 Nov 09 |  Horse Racing


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