Racing: Nathan Berry warded after collapsing

Racing: Nathan Berry warded after collapsing
Nathan Berry astride his horse, Indian Jade.

Jockey Nathan Berry will be hospitalised for at least two weeks after he was diagnosed with viral encephalitis.

The Australian jockey was at trackwork at Kranji on Tuesday morning when he suddenly collapsed at the canteen.

Luckily, trainer Patrick Shaw who was around, managed to catch him on time before he could have hurt himself any further.

Berry (right) was reported to have suffered a seizure and was then sent to Gleneagles Hospital where tests and scans later pointed to viral encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain caused by a virus.

REPLACEMENTS

The 23-year-old jockey, who rode a Kranji double when he booted home Indian Jade and Shin Goong on Sunday, was booked to ride his pet horse Unencumbered in the Group 2 Todman Stakes at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney on Saturday, but had to give up that ride given his condition.

Twin brother Tommy will deputise him on the Bjorn Baker-trained Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner.

He was also slated to ride White Sage for trainer John O'Shea in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic. This ride has now gone to James McDonald.

Trainer Michael Freedman, who has kept vigil along with wife Anna and Berry's visiting newlywed wife Whitney at the room where the young jockey is warded, said the priority was now Berry's recovery.

"We've had many phone calls from people concerned about Nathan. We ourselves didn't know what really happened to him until late in the afternoon yesterday," said the Australian trainer, who has been instrumental in bringing Berry to Singapore.

"I was told he was not himself yesterday morning at trackwork. At the holding area, he apparently fell asleep.

"The doctors don't really know how he got this illness, but it could have been as far back as six weeks ago.

"At first, Nathan thought he could recover and still make it for the ride in Sydney, but doctors said there was no way he could be cleared. He would need to spend at least two weeks in hospital.

DISAPPOINTED

"He was very disappointed as that means he will miss the ride in the Golden Slipper (April 5) as well. But what is more important now is he should pull through this first, and I am sure we will see him back riding again."

Berry had to also forfeit his rides on Sunday, including Tropaios, who will now be ridden by David Flores, in the Group 3 Marsiling Classic Stakes (1,800m). He had planned to sit out the Friday meeting to focus on his Sydney visit.


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