Trainer Darren Weir arrives at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. Picture: AAP Image/Julian Smith
Trainer Darren Weir arrives at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. Picture: AAP Image/Julian Smith

New animal cruelty claims, betting allegations in Weir case

FRESH allegations of animal cruelty have emerged in the case against Darren Weir and three other horse racing figures.

Court documents allege Weir's right hand man Jarrod Mclean hit racehorses Yogi and Red Cardinal with polypipe while they were working on treadmills.

Police alleged the horses, as well as star Tosen Basil, were also struck with jiggers - electronic devices to shock horses - for purposes relating to corrupt betting.

The treatment was linked to betting on the three horses, including Red Cardinal, in the 2018 Melbourne Cup.

Weir and three other racing figures appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning a string of charges relating to animal cruelty, corruption and betting offences.

Weir, 49, McLean, 39, Tyson Kermond, 27, and William Hernan, 34, are charged with a total of 33 charges stemming from Victoria Police raids on properties in Warrnambool and Ballarat on January 30.

Wearing a pale blue shirt, white shirt, blue tie and brown shoes, Weir sat in the front row of the court alongside his former stable foreman McLean in courtroom two.

Darren Weir at Derby Day. Picture: Jay Town
Darren Weir at Derby Day. Picture: Jay Town

The filing hearing lasted only a few minutes before the matter was adjourned by Magistrate Duncan Reynolds to a committal hearing on February 14, 2020.

Disqualified in February for four years by Racing Victoria, Weir faces nine charges including three counts of "engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying" of a thoroughbred racehorse.

He is also charged with three counts of "causing unreasonable pain or suffering" to a racehorse.

The charges relate to the discovery of three jiggers - devices capable giving horses an electric shock - in the master bedroom of his Ballarat home.

The Melbourne Cup-winning trainer also faces charges of possessing an unregistered firearm and conspiracy to defraud RV stewards.

McLean and Kermond face six counts each relating to animal cruelty.

McLean has been charged with a total of 16 offences, including engaging in conduct that would corrupt betting outcomes and possessing cocaine.

Hernan, a former jockey who until recently worked for RV as a track walker, has been charged with one count of using "corrupt conduct information", a betting related charge.

While McLean, Kermond and Hernan have regularly appeared at racetracks during the spring, Weir has rarely been spotted since his removal from the industry.

Until his disqualification, he was clearly Australia's dominant training force.

In his last full season before being banned, he trained 491 winners while amassing more than $36 million for owners.

His demise led to the dispersal of extensive racing assets, including champion horses and stables.

One of Weir's former horses Yes Yes Yes last week won the $14 million The Everest, earning the sprinter's new trainer Chris Waller $1.4 million in winning percentages.

Weir's most famous racing success was the 2015 Melbourne Cup victory of $101 shot Prince Of Penzance, ridden by Michelle Payne.