RACING: King's Katchit dies

This Is Wiltshire: Barbury Castle trainer Alan King, with Katchit Barbury Castle trainer Alan King, with Katchit

ALAN King's Champion Hurdle hero Katchit has died at the age of 10.

The diminutive gelding made little impression when trained on the Flat by Mick Channon but proved far better when switching disciplines with King at Barbury Castle.

After making an early and successful start in the juvenile ranks at Market Rasen in September 2006, he rose right through the division to end up winner of both the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Aintree equivalent.

Set some stiff tasks in open company as a four and five-year-old, Katchit was to enjoy his crowning moment when beating Osana by a length in the 2008 Champion.

It was to be the final victory for the son of Kalanisi, who was owned by the DSJP Syndicate.

Hindered by injury, he tried stepping up in distance and ran his last race when third to Overturn in the 2011 Coral Hurdle.

Katchit's regular jockey Robert Thornton tweeted: "No words I can write can explain how much the little warrior meant to myself and the team at Barbury. RIP little man."

King's assistant, Noel Williams, tweeted: "Some lovely tributes being paid to Katchit. All I'll say is I had a tear in my eye when he won the Champion and one again now! RIP."

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