Horse trainer Darren Weir inside of the Victorian Racing Club's headquarters during a show cause hearing on Monday.
Horse trainer Darren Weir inside of the Victorian Racing Club’s headquarters during a show cause hearing on Monday.Source: AAP

The dismantling of Australia’s biggest racing operation is underway with Darren Weir’s glittering career in tatters over illegal devices known as jiggers found in his stable.

Darren Weir is fronting Victoria’s Racing and Disciplinary Board this morning, a week after stewards and officers from Victoria Police’s sport integrity unit raided his stables at Ballarat and Warrnambool.

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.

Follow live updates of the hearing from 8.30am AEDT in the blog below

What now for Weir?

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Champion trainer Darren Weir will front the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board which is expected to confirm a disqualification relating to outlawed electronic devices known as jiggers found in his stable.

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The RAD Board will open an inquiry on Wednesday morning with Racing Victoria stewards saying they will seek a four-year disqualification.

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Weir has indicated he will not contest the charges relating to three jiggers found in his stable at Ballarat.

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He has also been charged with conduct prejudicial to the image of racing. The RAD Board has the power to issue penalties higher or lower than the stewards’ recommendation.

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Weir’s assistant, licensed trainer Jarrod McLean, will fight a charge relating to a jigger found on his premises with no date set for his hearing.

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A five-time Melbourne premiership winner, Weir trained Prince Of Penzance to win the 2015 Melbourne Cup in a famous victory for jockey Michelle Payne. Jiggers are used in training to give horses a shock and the action is simulated on race day.

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The transfer of horses from the Weir stable has already begun with more than a hundred moved to other trainers before Monday’s 11-hour show cause hearing, leaving around 500 on his books that need new homes.

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Weir’s stables at Ballarat and Warrnambool were raided last week in a joint operation by RV stewards and officers from Victoria Police’s sport integrity unit.

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Champion Victorian trainer Darren Weir could relinquish his licence before a Racing Victoria hearing to determine whether he should be allowed to continue training.

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The Herald Sun is reporting Weir and his assistant, licensed trainer Jarrod McLean, could surrender their licences rather than front a show cause hearing on Monday afternoon over serious charges against them.

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The two were arrested last Wednesday after RV stewards and officers from Victoria Police’s sports integrity unit raided properties at Ballarat and Warrnambool where Weir has stables, finding four electronic devices commonly known as jiggers and banned in racing.

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Weir risks being stood down and banned if he tries and fails to show cause.

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In addition to rule breaches relating to the jiggers, Weir and McLean have been charged with failing to answer questions at the opening of a stewards’ inquiry on Thursday and conduct prejudicial to racing.

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The show cause hearing opened on Friday with horses trained by the pair withdrawn from races over the weekend.

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Weir has won the past five Melbourne trainers’ premierships and rose to international prominence when he trained Prince Of Penzance to win the 2015 Melbourne Cup.

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Until last week he had more than 600 horses on his books with many owners now transferring them to other trainers.

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A jigger is usually a small electrical device used in conjunction with a whip to try to stimulate a horse to run faster.

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It is used in training and the action is then simulated on race day so the horse believes it is about to be shocked again.

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The show cause hearing is scheduled to begin at 2pm.

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— with staff writers

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