Weir won't fight charges, faces 4-year ban

Jockey Michelle Payne and trainer Darren Weir of Australia hold up their Melbourne Cups after winning the race on Prince of Penzance at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne in 2015

Darren Weir: Australian trainer will not contest charges carrying possible four-year ban

A five-time Melbourne premiership victor, Weir gained global fame as the trainer of 2015 Melbourne Cup victor Prince Of Penzance.

Officers also located an unregistered firearm and a small amount of cocaine while searching the properties.

Darren Weir faces a four-year ban from racing after opting not to contest charges relating to possesiong of "jiggers" which were uncovered in a raid of his stables.

After an 11-hour hearing with stewards behind closed doors on Monday, Weir will not contest the charges in the knowledge stewards will ask the Racing and Appeals Disciplinary Board to disqualify him for four years. "He has advised the stewards that he will not contest those charges which have drawn considerable negative publicity to the sport", he said.

The RAD Board has the power to issue penalties higher or lower than the stewards' recommendation.

Australian trainer Darren Weir is expected to be handed a lengthy ban after Racing Victoria stewards concluded their hearing into the show cause notices issued against him. Weir will not be able to nominate horses for any races or official trials and any acceptances from Weir's yard will be withdrawn by order of the stewards. Until last week, he had more than 600 horses on his books with that number dwindling as owners begin transferring them to other trainers amid uncertainty over their autumn programs.

Stewards opened the hearing on Friday and withdrew all Weir-trained horses from race meetings over the weekend and those of Jarrod McLean, his assistant who is also a licensed trainer and charged with similar offences.

"If anyone else has had a charge they've come back to training when they've finished their time, but I suppose that's up to Darren".

On the basis that McLean will contest the charges, significant conditions have been imposed on his operation until such time as the charges have been heard and determined by the RAD Board including that McLean not be permitted to receive any horses to train that were in the care of Weir as at 30 January 2019.

"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".

They are seeking the term after Weir said he would not contest charges laid last week following a raid by stewards and Victoria Police's sports integrity unit on his stables at Ballarat and Warrnambool.

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