Tommy Berry will ride on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill tomorrow in honour of his twin brother Nathan who passed away on Thursday.
Nathan Berry lost his battle against a severe case of NORSE syndrome and died shortly after his family brought him back to Sydney after spending two weeks in a Singapore hospital.
As well as Tommy Berry, fellow jockey and Nathan’s father-in-law of two months Glyn Schofield and brother-in-law Chad Schofield will all take their mounts at Rosehill.
Tommy Berry has seven rides for Gai Waterhouse and will be riding Order Of The Sun in the Group 2 $175,000 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m), a race that the Australian Turf club renamed as a tribute to Nathan.
While Berry will be aboard Valentia in the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m), he hasn’t got a mount in the other two Group 1 races on the program, the $1.5m The BMW (2400m) and the $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
Berry and Waterhouse are looking for back to back Golden Slipper victories after taking out the world’s richest two year old race last year with Overreach, while Waterhouse could secure a hat trick after Pierro won in 2012.
Berry’s other rides are Hampton Court in the Group 3 $150,000 The Schweppervescence (1400m), Julienas in the Group 3 $150,000 tab.com.au Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m), Bull Point in the Group 3 $150,000 Sebring Stakes (1200m), Vaquera in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Emancipation Stakes (1500m) and The Great Snowman in the Group 3 $150,000 Doncaster Prelude (1500m).
Chad Schofield will be on the Peter Moody trained Bring Me The Maid in the Golden Slipper while Glyn Schofield looks likely to miss out in the feature race with his mount Scratch Me Lucky the first emergency and will need a scratching to gain a start.
Racing New South Wales chief steward Ray Murrihy accepts that all three riders will be riding under extreme pressure and will respect their wishes if circumstances change as well as providing a professional counsellor for all the jockeys at the track.
“We will accede to what the families, the Berrys and the Schofields want,” Murrihy told AAP.
“Tom Berry has shown a maturity that you couldn’t expect of a 23-year-old.
“We will be shielding Glyn and Tommy particularly from as much glare as possible.
“If there needs to be a change we are prepared, but we understand all three will ride.”
“Racing NSW has a full-time counsellor who will spend the day in the jockeys’ room.”
“The counsellor will be there for all the riders.”
Nathan Berry had only recently taken up a short term riding contract in Singapore shortly after he married Glyn Schofield’s daughter Whitney and his riding career had started to blossom after he scored his biggest win on Unencumbered in the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January.
Nathan Berry was due to return to Sydney to ride Unencumbered in the Golden Slipper but the Bjorn Baker trained colt will now be ridden by Craig Williams.