The demise of the Darren Weir juggernaut has provided the sporting pages headlines for ages.
Mr Weir did not contest a number of charges including the discovery of four “jiggers” (an electronic device which can be used to give a horse an electric shock.)
Remember he is being charged with possession not use.
Other charges revolved around “Conduct prejudicial to the interests or image of racing.”
As Darren did not contest the charges stewards imposed a four-year disqualification. The repercussions will be enormous. Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander fears for the future of racing in his area.
Archie has been quoted as saying, “It’s a big shock, but also very sad. Darren had 250 horses in training. It’s going to be very sad for the huge number of staff. They will have to finish up as well.
Mr Alexander said, “To be honest his best 50 horses have already gone to the top four trainers.”
A report described the shock.
Staff member Mr Mark Toleman said he was gutted to lose the job he loved.
He said 90% of the staff had no idea what was going on.
He said when he arrived for work at 6 am two stewards walked in followed by six blokes with guns on their hips.
“We were all in shock.”
Victorian Jockey’s Association CEO Matt Hyland said, “The movement of such a huge number of horses would mean a reshuffle of riders as the new trainers would go with the jockeys they already have a relationship.
On the other hand there are a number of jockeys who have devoted a lot of time to the Weir Stable.”
Now according to reports the top 50 horses have gone to the top four trainers. these jockeys will now have to try to build a relationship with other owners and trainers.
Not an easy task.
Jockeys lean on trainers and vice versa.
There have been some bizarre suggestions put forward by other racing participants as to how we “fix things”.
Leading Syndicator Terry Henderson was reported as saying, “There should be a code of conduct introduced for trainers”.
This comment fired up trainer Matthew Ellerton who labelled Mr Henderson a “ goose” saying a number of trainers were offended by the comment.
“I’m sure we don’t have to go to school to be told we can’t use an electrical device.”
Victorian Racing CEO Brian Kruger has been reported as saying capping horse numbers of trainers could be one thing considered as the board looks at a number of options to deal with integrity matters.
Even the number of training centres could be considered.
“The missus is crooked on me,” local resident confided to drinking partner.
“What happened?” partner enquired.
Resident replied, “We were all standing around the barby, and I’d had a fair few stubbs and passed wind.
This posh bloke said, “Do you mind. Not in front of my wife.”
I said, “Sorry old mate.I didn’t know it was her turn.”