Six years on, star jockey Tommy Berry says he’s only just starting to deal better with the loss of twin brother Nathan as he looks to continue a golden run on the track this Saturday at Randwick.
Nathan Berry died unexpectedly in 2014 from a rare form of epilepsy, leaving family and friends devastated.
Tommy and Nathan grew up together riding horses and both were destined to become top jockeys. Nathan’s career highlight came just months before he died when he rode Unencumbered to victory in the Magic Millions Classic.
Nathan was riding in Singapore when struck down by Norse Syndrome. He was just 23.
While Tommy has continued to ride with success, he revealed to The Daily Telegraph he’s only recently felt “normal”.
“I’ve gone through a lot with losing Nathan and I’m finally feeling like things are starting to become a bit normal again,” Berry said.
Best mates: Tommy Berry hugs twin brother Nathan after he won the Magic Millions Classic on Unencumbered in 2014.Source:News Limited
“It’s been six years and it’s something I struggle with a lot to this day, but I’ve found better ways to cope with it.
“I’m seeing a sports psychologist, which I’m not afraid to admit, and I get a lot of help through that.
“I’ve had to find a way to deal with the tragedy and deal with everyday life because I know it’s not going to go away.
“I’m now in a good headspace and the way I prepare for a race meeting is different. I was probably just hoping for a bit of luck before.”
Berry is entering the prime of his career now, which should last at least another 10 years.
He’s coming off a stellar Saturday at Rosehill after winning his 30th Group 1 in the Golden Rose on Ole Kirk and he also helped Subpoenaed to a Golden Pendant victory on the same day.
Tommy says he has had to find “a way to deal with the tragedy and deal with everyday life because I know it’s not going to go away”.Source:News Limited
“Every sportsman thrives on confidence and I feel like I’ve been in a really good frame of mind. It’s a big thing in racing,” he said.
“My weight and fitness are the best they’ve ever been and that’s a big part of way I’m riding well.”
On Saturday Berry will be out to continue that Group 1 success when he rides Rock in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) for Team Hawkes.
And he thinks his horse, rated a $9.50 hope, has an important edge on his rivals.
“I think he’s got the sharpest turn of foot in the race,” Berry said.
“I think horses like Probabeel, Imaging and Funstar can probably sustain a longer run than him but when you talk about a 200m burst, he’s got a very exciting finish.
“The dry track really bring out his devastating turn of foot and that’s what’s going to win him the race on Saturday if he does win it.”
Rock drew gate 13 on Tuesday and is coming off a dazzling Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) win at Newcastle when he put his rivals to bed in a matter of strides.
Tommy Berry returns to scale on Ole Kirk after winning the Group 1 Golden Rose at Rosehill Gardens last weekend.Source:Getty Images
“The key to him is to get an uninterrupted run and get onto the back of something that’s going to take me into the race then have the last crack at them late,” Berry said.
“I think there’s only four of five winning hopes then it drops away.”
Berry also rides Angel Of Truth in the other Group 1 on Saturday — The Metropolitan (2400m).
He’ll only lug 51.5kg after three good runs this time in.
“He’s a (ATC) Derby winner and he’s drawn where he can press forward and put himself into the race and he’ll be in it for a long way,” Berry said.
John O’Shea has Rondinella in the staying race and she also hasn’t missed a beat this time in as she arrives at her grand final as an $18 hope behind $3.20 favourite Mugatoo.
“If she’s going to win a Group 1 she’s going to win it at that weight (51.5kg),” O’Shea said.
“Shared Ambition has an awkward gate to contend with but also has a good weight.
“We’ve been pretty bullish on her all the way. She’s been a great filly to work with and she’s shown us all along that she’s been above average.”
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Originally published asBerry’s cure: Twin’s pain of loss only just clearing
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