Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Weir facing four-year ban

Darren Weir was charged with having devices known as 'jiggers', which can make horses run faster.

Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Darren Weir is facing a four-year ban after opting against contesting charges for possessing devices which can be used to deliver electric shocks to horses.

Weir, who saddled Prince of Penzance to Melbourne Cup glory four years ago, was charged by Racing Victoria (RV) stewards last Friday and faced a hearing along with his assistant trainer Jarrod McLean.

The 48-year-old Australian stated that he will not contest three charges brought against him – including having electronic apparatus, known as 'jiggers', which can affect the performance of horses.

McLean will contest the charges he faces, while stable employee Tyson Kermond will not face any action after charges of failing to assist the stewards were not pursued.

RV executive general manager Jamie Stier said: "This is a complex matter and the stewards were determined to be thorough and give due consideration to the submissions made, their legal advice and the ongoing investigations.

"Darren Weir is facing serious charges of possessing three electrical apparatus and conduct prejudicial to the interests or image of racing.

"He has advised the stewards that he will not contest those charges which have drawn considerable negative publicity to the sport.

"To that end, stewards have requested that the RAD Board expedite the hearing of Mr Weir's charges at which point they will be seeking a four-year disqualification.

"Until such time as the RAD [Racing Appeals and Disciplinary] Board convenes to hear and determine Mr Weir's charges, the stewards have imposed strict conditions on his licence that ensure he is not permitted to enter or race any horses as a trainer or owner.

"On the basis that Mr McLean advised the stewards that he will contest the charges against him, significant conditions have also been imposed on his operation until such time as the charges have been heard and determined by the RAD Board.

"In reaching these positions on the Show Cause Notices, the stewards note that investigations remain ongoing and that they reserve the right to act upon any new evidence that comes to hand during the course of those investigations."