Tommy Berry weeps for twin Nathan

For most of Golden Slipper Day, Tommy Berry had been everyone's rock.

Throughout the first half of the afternoon, owners, trainers, strappers, all of them hugged him in the mounting yard at Rosehill Gardens, and then often broke down with grief.

Since the passing of his twin brother Nathan from Norse syndrome, an acute form of epilepsy on Thursday, the racing fraternity has been stunned at how strong Tommy has been, given he has lost so much.

He defiantly rode on Saturday, as did Nathan's father-in-law Glyn Schofield and brother-in-law, Chad, and Nathan's best mate Christian Reith.

Something had to give, and when the course stopped and stood in silence on its biggest day of the year, it did. Tommy could not hold on any longer, and the 23-year-old jockey was consoled by his mother, Julie*.

Earlier, Nathan's widow Whitney had presented the trophy for the Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes.

Tommy, Glyn or Chad could not win the race named in Nathan's honour, although Chad had saluted earlier in the day.

''We were indecisive whether the three of us would ride and we chose to because that's what Nathan would have wanted,'' Chad said. For the past few days, the racing industry has been in mourning, and the emotional tribute to Nathan put the day firmly into context.

''I have left Tommy alone, but he knows I have been there for him,'' trainer Gai Waterhouse said. ''It's been a tough time for everyone.''

Tommy Berry wore his brother's pants and socks as he rode and was surrounded by supporters after each race, with a schedule of seven rides on the day.

Schofield paid tribute to Nathan after his win in the third race of the program. ''Nathan's up there looking down,'' he said. ''It's a very sad occasion; you've got to stay strong and concentrate on the job today.

''We are all in it together and Nathan wouldn't have wanted it any other way.''

* An earlier version said Tommy Berry's mother's name is Joy.

The story Tommy Berry weeps for twin Nathan first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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