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Weir’s Racing Tribunal hearing continues

Weir’s Racing Tribunal hearing continues

Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Darren Weir has admitted guilt to seven out of ten charges brought against him concerning the use of a jigger on three of his former racehorses. The proceedings took place at a Victorian Racing Tribunal hearing that commenced on Monday.

Representing Weir, Ian Hill KC entered not guilty pleas for charges one, two, and three, which relate to conduct influencing race outcomes. However, guilty pleas were entered for charges four to nine, involving welfare concerns. Additionally, a guilty plea was made for charge 10, which pertains to engaging in dishonourable or improper actions within the racing realm.

 

Albert Dinelli KC, representing Racing Victoria stewards, presented compelling CCTV footage to the tribunal, showing Weir using the jigger on three horses – Red Cardinal, Tosen Basil, and Yogi – with involvement from stable foreman Jarrod McLean and stablehand Tyson Kermond.

Dinelli emphasised that the footage and transcripts of interviews with the defendants were crucial evidence. He asserted that the intentions behind the disputed charges were evident, particularly in corrupting race outcomes.

Weir stated in one interview with stewards that the incidents captured on camera were his only instances of using an electronic device on a horse. He explained that it was an attempt to improve the horses’ fitness and performance, although he later admitted discomfort with the practice and acknowledged its lack of success.

Barrister Damian Sheales, representing McLean and Kermond, entered guilty pleas for his clients on three charges under AR 227(b), which involves aiding or abetting breaches of racing rules. Sheales also highlighted overlaps and conjectures regarding other charges.

Former RV Chairman of Stewards Robert Cram provided evidence during Monday afternoon’s session. The tribunal consists of Judges John Bowman, Kathryn Kings, and Des Gleeson.

While the hearing is not expected to span the entire allocated five days, it will resume on Tuesday, featuring additional witness testimonies.