Assistant to twice champion trainer David Nicholson until his retirement in 1999, Alan King moved to his current base at Barbury Castle Stables in Wroughton, near Swindon, Wiltshire in 2000. Since then, he has sent out a total of 15 Cheltenham Festival winners, although the most recent of them was Uxizandre – who was, coincidentally, Tony McCoy’s last Festival winner – in the Ryanair Chase in 2015.
Of the four main ‘championship’ races at the Festival, King has won the Stayers’ Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Champion Hurdle once apiece, with My Way De Solzen (2006), Voy Por Ustedes (2007) and Katchit (2008) respectively. Indeed, all three of those horses were, or became, multiple Cheltenham Festival winners; Voy Por Ustedes had won the Arkle Challenge Trophy in 2006, Katchit had won the Triumph Hurdle in 2007 and My Way De Solzen went on to win the Arkle Challenge Trophy, again, in 2007.
Katchit was particularly notable, insofar as his victory in the Champion Hurdle was the first by a Triumph Hurdle winner since Kribensis in 1990 and the first by a five-year-old since See You Then in 1985. In 2013, in what is often one of the most competitive races of the entire Cheltenham Festival, the Coral Cup, King achieved a notable training feat by saddling the 33/1 winner, Medina, and the 14/1 second, Meister Eckhart.