'Jiggers' earn Australian trainer Weir a four-year ban

Heather Diaz
February 8, 2019

The 48-year-old Australian, who trained 2015 Melbourne Cup victor Prince of Penzance, had decided not to contest the charges laid against him by Racing Victoria at a Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RAD).

Darren Weir has been disqualified for four years after the Melbourne Cup-winning trainer did not contest charges of possessing electronic apparatus used to condition horses during a racing appeals and disciplinary board hearing on Wednesday. It's believed it took two and a half hours for the panel to come to their verdict.

Gleeson said the location of the devices was telling.

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.

Weir had offered no expression of remorse, and had not given an explanation why that was the case, Mr Gleeson said.

"The devices were found in the master bedroom of his house, not in some shed or employee's bag".

Weir's counsel Patrick Wheelahan said the trainer did not agree with RV's submissions but wanted a quick end to the inquiry.

The fact that Weir had not contested the charges was, said Judge Bowman, reminiscent of the Aquanita case as he pointed out that "no contest" - which was used in that case - was not a plea recognised in this jurisdiction.

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"I want to thank the stewards and the broader integrity team inside Racing Victoria, and all of those who have supported the team over the last week", Thompson said.

"He's seen other matters drag on costing millions of dollars to the industry".

Gleeson pointed out that while the damage to the sport of racing was "significant" and "damaging" it was reparable.

"The laying of criminal charges by the police is still a possibility".

The board ultimately agreed on the four-years, with the ban staring immediately.

"It shouldn't be more because it is a charge of possession and conduct prejudical, there is no charge of use".

Weir's assistant, licensed trainer Jarrod McLean, will fight a charge of possessing a jigger and will be allowed to train until a RAD Board hearing.

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