Tommy Berry sent a kiss skywards to his brother Nathan as he crossed the line on The Offer at Randwick, dedicating the win to his late twin and riding companion.
The Offer reaffirmed his favouritism for the Sydney Cup after taking Saturday’s Group Two Chairman’s Handicap (2600m).
It was an emotional return to scale for Tommy as he acknowledged the applause of the crowd for his riding skills and strength of character over the past few weeks.
His last win before Saturday was on The Offer two weeks ago when he made a flying trip from his brother’s Singapore hospital bedside when it appeared Nathan was making progress.
But the 23-year-old died last Thursday week from the rare epilepsy-related illness NORSE syndrome after being brought home to Sydney.
“That was Nathan’s win today,” Berry said.
“It’s been the hardest week of my life for sure, but no harder than it’s been for Nathan.
“Coming here today and riding a winner for him, that’s very special.
“It’s something that I love doing. It’s something that Nathan loved doing.
“This is my job. This was Nathan’s job.”
He said he had been overwhelmed by the support for him and his family in the week he buried his brother at a public service.
“The support of everyone has been amazing. We’ll never be able to thank them enough and never be able to repay what they’ve done,” Berry said.
“It just shows what a special man my brother was.”
He and trainer Gai Waterhouse both think The Offer is pretty special as well.
“Just back him in the Sydney Cup. He’ll bolt in,” Waterhouse said.
Berry made his move on the $2.50 favourite coming to the home turn.
As he did two weeks ago in the Manion Cup, The Offer increased his stride on the heavy surface and went to the line 2-1/4 lengths ahead of Tremec ($17) with Hippopus ($8.50) another neck third.
The Offer is at $3.50 to win the Group One Sydney Cup (3200m) next Saturday.