The special bond between jockey Tommy Berry and trainer Michael Freedman formed from tragedy and led to triumph as Stay Inside scored a spectacular Golden Slipper win at Rosehill Gardens.
As both men basked in the Golden Slipper spotlight on a brilliant Sydney autumn afternoon, they found themselves recalling the dark days when Tommy’s twin brother, Nathan, passed away from illness seven years ago.
“Michael is a good family friend of ours and I was able to win a Group 1 for him, the Singapore Gold Cup,’’ Berry said.
“After that win, Michael asked me to go to Singapore to be his stable rider.
“But I had already accepted the offer to ride in Hong Kong so Michael got Nathan to go over and ride for him.
“Nathan was stable rider until he passed but the support of Michael, his wife Anna, and their whole family, gave me and my family is something I will never forget.’’
Freedman admitted he has become “very close” with Tommy Berry in the years since Nathan’s passing.
“It goes back to the Singapore days when Nathan was stable rider for me up there and tragically passed away,’’ Freedman said.
“Tommy and I have had a pretty special bond since then so I guess there is a touch of irony that he ended up on that horse today.”
Tommy Berry looks to the heavens after winning the Golden Slipper with Stay Inside. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Freedman needed a new jockey for Stay Inside when James McDonald decided to stay with Home Affairs in the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Tommy Berry had never ridden Stay Inside in a race but accepted the offer immediately – and the rest is history.
Stay Inside ($4.60) proved himself the dominant two-year-old of his generation when he romped away to win the Golden Slipper by nearly two lengths before a crowd of around 10,000 race fans.
WOW. WOW. WOW.
STAY INSIDE IS THE GOLDEN SLIPPER HERO! pic.twitter.com/LpfP6AfDxh
Godolphin’s James Cummings prepared the minor placegetters with Anamoe ($15) coming from down the centre of the track to claim second with stablemate Ingratiating ($20) third, more than four lengths behind the winner.
Stay Inside capped a memorable day for Berry who also rode Mo’unga to win the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas.
At just 30 years of age, Berry is now a three-time Golden Slipper-winning jockey after Stay Inside monstered his rivals to score a brilliant win by nearly two lengths easing down from Godolphin duo Anamoe and Ingratiating.
Berry, who won the Golden Slipper previously on Overreach (2013) and Vancouver (2015), said the race worked out perfectly for Stay Inside.
“The race worked out perfectly for me,’’ Berry said.
”I was a bit worried about Nash (Rawiller on Four Moves Ahead) was coming up around me three wide at one stage.
“But Stay Inside travelled so beautifully for me the whole way and he handled the ground so well and that’s why I was confident to go when I did.’’
Tommy Berry celebrates with Stay Inside’s co-trainer Michael Freedman. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Berry said Stay Inside’s acceleration from the 300m was breathtaking as the colt took the Golden Slipper away from his rivals.
“Stay Inside did get a bit lost when he raced clear,’’ Berry said.
“But I was too scared to look back and John Hawkes is always telling me to stop looking at the big screen so I was too scared to look at that as well.
“He proved himself the superior two-year-old – it’s an incredible to have won three Golden Slippers, already.’’
Berry then revealed how he had ridden Stay Inside in a barrier trial earlier in the season and had some sage advice for the Freedman brothers.
“I remember telling Michael when I rode Stay Inside in his first trial that the colt was probably a preparation away and I don’t know how far you should push him,’’ Berry said.
“I’m glad Michael didn’t listen to me – how silly was I.”
Originally published asBerry, Freedman share pain of Slipper triumph
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