Top jockey found dead

2010-10-19 07:22

Brisbane - A champion Australian jockey due to compete in the upcoming Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup races has been found dead in his home, reports said on Tuesday.

Stathi Katsidis, who in January rode filly Military Rose to victory in the Gold Coast's Magic Millions, was discovered by his partner in their Brisbane home overnight.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances, with media reports noting the jockey's long-running battle with alcohol and drugs.

Katsidis, 31, was one of Australia's leading riders and was due to ride four-year-old gelding Shoot Out in the Cox Plate this Saturday and again at next month's Melbourne Cup.

The death of Katsidis, who rode more than 170 winners last season and won the Queensland jockeys premiership for 2009-10, has stunned the Australian racing community.

"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."

The jockey's brother is world lightweight boxing champion Michael Katsidis.