Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Four-year ban for disgraced trainer Weir

Darren Weir celebrates after training the winner of the 2015 Melbourne Cup Darren Weir celebrates after training the winner of the 2015 Melbourne Cup
Shannon Reynolds | 08 February, 2019, 07:56

The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board has handed embattled trainer Darren Weir a four-year disqualification.

RV legal counsel Jeff Gleeson, QC, said three devices were uncovered in a property owned by Weir at Miners Rest.

The trainer was charged with three counts of possession of apparatus created to deliver an electric shock, failure to give evidence at an inquiry, failure to comply with a direction of the stewards and conduct prejudicial to the image, interests or welfare of racing.

It has now been revealed in a police report submitted to a Racing and Disciplinary Board (RAD) hearing that jiggers were also found in his home - specifically, in his bedroom.

Weir's barrister Patrick Wheelahan said the trainer pleaded no contest because he wanted a quick resolution to the charges rather than the matter dragging on and costing the industry millions of dollars.

In making a penalty submission on behalf of Weir, Wheelahan said that the leading trainer had cooperated willingly over the past week since his stables were raided.

He said the four-year disqualification the stewards sought was appropriate.

"With reputation and privilege comes responsibility", said Gleeson.

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He said Weir was putting "winning ahead of welfare of horses" and had "tarnished" the industry in a way that was "unforgettable".

"The act of possessing these devices, the circumstances in which they were located and the inevitable media firestorm that followed the discovery of these items, the arrest of Mr Weir all contribute to the establishment of the fact that this was conduct prejudicial to the image of racing".

He said Weir felt bad about the situation and his decision not to contest the charges showed his remorse.

Consequently the three-man RAD Board panel of judges, led by chairman John Bowman, required little time to agree that the charges were proven.

Two other charges of failing to give evidence and failing to comply with stewards' directions were dropped after Weir agreed on Monday not to contest the charges.

Leonard will ultimately make way for a high-profile successor, possibly Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

"I look forward to training for many years to come".

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