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Australia Prized Flemington race at centre of Weir criminal probe

00:05  10 october  2019
00:05  10 october  2019 Source:   theage.com.au

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One of the prized races of the Flemington carnival is at the centre of a criminal investigation into disgraced former trainer Darren Weir and his one Darren Weir . Credit:AAP. The jockey who rode the chance to victory at the end of last spring's Flemington carnival, John Allen, declined to comment

Prized Flemington race at centre of Weir criminal probe . After an investigation that lasted more than a year, detectives from Victoria Police's Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit charged the 49-year-old with nine offences on Wednesday.

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One of the prized races of the Flemington carnival is at the centre of a criminal investigation into disgraced former trainer Darren Weir and his one-time stablehand Jarrod McLean, who were both charged on Wednesday with conspiracy and animal cruelty offences. 

The closing stages of last year's weight for age classic, the Mackinnon Stakes, has attracted the scrutiny of racing stewards and detectives attached to the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Unit, who have formally charged McLean, the trainer of the winning horse Trap for Fools, with corrupting betting outcomes.

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With Weir in Adelaide for Saturday's Goodwood meeting, Jarrod McLean, in charge of his Warrnambool operation, said First Among Equals was another nice addition from the west. "Weiry will probably progress through this winter sprint series and end up here in the final in July," McLean said.

Criminal justice experts said San Francisco appeared to be the first such office in the nation to test that approach. “The question we want to ask ourselves is, ‘Would you charge based just on the behavior, without the race and other demographic information?’” said Mr. Gascón.

Detectives have viewed race footage showing the jockey aboard Trap for Fools using an unorthodox whipping motion, which they suspect was intended to simulate the effect of a jigger, an illegal electronic prodding device found at Weir's stables and home.

a man standing in front of a window: Darren Weir. © AAP Darren Weir. The jockey who rode the $20 chance to victory at the end of last spring's Flemington carnival, John Allen, declined to comment when contacted by The Age. Allen has not been charged with any offence and has not been accused of any wrongdoing. A horse trained by Weir finished third.

Last year's Grand National at Sandown, a race in which both Weir and McLean featured prominently, is also under scrutiny. McLean-trained Cougar Express won the race.

Police interest in that race centres on the riding tactics employed by Allen at Weir's instructions and whether they helped the McLean-trained Cougar Express win the race.

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The Mss Security Sprint was raced at Flemington racecourse on 7th Nov 2017. Visit the page for the full results, stats and the breakdown of dividends on how much you can expect in return.

Weir is facing nine charges including conspiracy to defraud racing stewards, cruelty to animals and weapons offences.

McLean, a former employee of Weir who established his own training business, is facing 16 charges including conspiracy to defraud stewards, animal cruelty, two counts of engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome and five counts of using corrupt conduct information. He is also charged with possessing cocaine.

Two other racing figures from Warrnambool, 27-year-old stablehand Tyson Kermond and retired jockey William Hernan, have also been charged.

The four men are due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on October 23.

a person riding a horse: Trap For Fools ridden by jockey John Allen returns to the mounting yard after winning the Mackinnon Stakes. © AAP Trap For Fools ridden by jockey John Allen returns to the mounting yard after winning the Mackinnon Stakes. In separate proceedings, McLean, Kermond and Hernan will face Racing Victoria stewards on Thursday, while Weir will be required to attend a further stewards' inquiry on a future date.

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The Vrc Springtime Stakes was raced at Flemington racecourse on 10th Nov 2018. Visit the page for the full results, stats and the breakdown of dividends on how much you can expect in return.

The dramatic development in the year-long investigation into alleged illegal activity in the horse racing industry has overshadowed the start of this year's spring racing carnival, which begins in earnest on Saturday with the running of the Caulfield Guineas.

The charges follow a number of raids on properties in Miners Rest and Warrnambool on January 30, during which police seized jiggers at Weir's home and stables.

Weir, the celebrated winning trainer of the 2015 Melbourne Cup whose large stable of horses amassed more than $148 million in winnings, is serving a four year ban from training after pleading no contest to charges under the Rules of Racing of possession of jiggers at a hearing of the Victoria Racing disciplinary board in February.

Prior to his fall, Weir played a storied role in one of the Australian racing's greatest tales when he trained Prince of Penzance, the 100-1 longshot ridden by jockey Michelle Payne, to victory in the Melbourne Cup.

Weir was born in Victoria's remote Mallee district, left school at 15 and worked his way through country racing ranks, first as horse breaker and later, as a licensed trainer. He supported Payne and gave her the Melbourne Cup ride on Prince of Penzance despite pressure from some owners of the horse to switch to a male jockey.

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Trainers. Chris Waller. Darren Weir . Statistics. Horse. Flemington Tips. No tips available for Flemington .

Payne is the first and only woman to ride the winner of the Melbourne Cup and the subject of the feature film Ride like a girl. The charges against Weir do not relate to Prince of Penzance and there is no suggestion that Payne was involved in any wrongdoing.

a man wearing a suit and sun glasses: Trainer Jarrod McLean. © AAP Trainer Jarrod McLean. Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson described the criminal charges laid against Weir and his co-accused as serious and distressing. What began as an integrity probe by racing officials into Weir's stables last year morphed into a police investigation, with covert surveillance used to gather evidence of alleged corruption.

"The core responsibility of Racing Victoria is to protect the integrity of the sport and to enforce the Australian Rules of Racing, ensuring both a level playing field for all and the health and welfare of horses competing in Victorian races," Mr Thompson said.

"These are serious charges and the nature of the alleged conduct described within the charges is distressing to all within the racing industry, as well as the general community," he said.

Anyone with information about illegal activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

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