HENRIETTA Knight has written for the first time about the death of her triple Cheltenham Gold cup winner Best Mate.

Knight, who trained the superstar horse at West Lockinge, near Wantage, relives that fateful day in her new book “Not Enough Time”, which is published today.

She recalls vividly how she knew instantly that there was something wrong with her champion after he was pulled up by Paul Carberry in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on November 1, 2005.

Matey, as he was affectionately known, trotted up the home straight, before veering across the course and collapsing near the last fence in the full view of his army of adoring fans in a new stand erected specially for the day.

In moving terms, Knight, 68, writes: “The end was quick. Best Mate would have felt no pain. It was as though he was in a coma.

“He took his last breath and lay motionless. There was no struggle. His death was extremely peaceful.”

She admitted to feeling a “sudden numbness” and wondering whether it was a “bad dream”.

Knight continues: “The shock was indescribable.”

“There was an eerie silence as people gathered around the fallen star, and then the dreaded green screens were put up so that the racegoers could no longer see him.”

The trainer adds that Best Mate’s death hit her late husband, Terry Biddlecombe, hard.

“He cried and cried. It was utterly tragic,” she writes.

Knight also tells in her book of the wonderfully happy times she shared with Biddlecombe, before his death in January 2014.

Published by Head of Zeus, “Not Enough Time” is available from Mostly Books in Abingdon, priced £20.