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Jockeys will wear royal blue ribbons at the Golden Slipper meeting in memory of their fellow rider Nathan Berry.

Nathan’s twin Tommy, who will ride at Saturday’s meeting, asked that his colleagues not wear traditional black armbands but instead sport the royal blue, his brother’s favourite colour.

It is also a colour incorporated in the silks of Golden Slipper contender Unencumbered who should have been ridden by Nathan who was struck down with a rare illness on March 18 in Singapore where he had begun a short-term contract.

He was diagnosed with the epilepsy-related NORSE syndrome and after his condition deteriorated, his new wife Whitney and other members of his extended family brought Nathan home to Sydney where he died on Thursday.

As part of the tributes to Nathan Berry, Australian Turf Club chief executive Darren Pearce said much of the entertainment would be scaled back.

Condolence books will be placed at two locations on the racecourse and a minute’s silence will be held between races five and six.

Nathan’s father-in-law Glyn Schofield and brother-in-law Chad Schofield will also ride at the meeting.

Pearce said the club and Racing NSW wanted the day’s tribute to fully reflect the wishes of the Berry and Schofield families.

“Tomorrow may be Golden Slipper day but it is all about the memory of Nathan and the realisation of how very special jockeys of the class and calibre of Nathan are to our industry,” Pearce said.

A professional counsellor will be stationed in the jockeys’ room. Senior jockey Jim Cassidy, who is not riding due to suspension, will also be on hand to comfort his fellow riders.

 
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