Weir Melbourne Cup hope given electric shocks in lead-up to race, court alleges
Group 1-winning trainer Jarrod McLean has been charged by Victoria Police with using electric shocks to assist the psychological conditioning of two Darren Weir-trained horses, including Melbourne Cup runner Red Cardinal, in the lead-up to last year’s big race.
McLean, then assistant to Weir, is accused of engaging in an illicit covert training regime with 23rd-placed Red Cardinal and Lexus Stakes seventh Yogi, using a jigger, blinkers, poly pipe – a flexible plastic pipe commonly used for drainage and irrigation – and whistling while the horses trained on a treadmill in an attempt to affect their performance, with the intention of obtaining a financial advantage through betting when they ran.
McLean has been charged for using those methods between October 24 and November 6 with Red Cardinal and October 24 to November 3 with Yogi. He is also accused of using a jigger on Tosen Basil on October 30. None of the three horses won for the remainder of last year when in the care of Weir.
Victoria Police brought 16 charges against McLean at Melbourne Magistrates Court, including placing A$100 each-way on Red Cardinal with a potential return of A$5,200, plus a A$100 multiple to potentially win A$2,570, a A$100 each-way bet that would have reaped A$1540 and a A$60 quinella all involving Yogi.
The police charges also state he passed betting information to Colin Cannon and William Hernan, with the last-named charged with placing a A$50 bet on Yogi with a A$600 potential return with the corrupt conduct information.
Ten charges were made against Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Weir, including the use of a jigger on the three horses wearing blinkers while on a treadmill with the result of causing unreasonable pain or suffering.
Weir has also been charged with using a controlled weapon without lawful excuse at his Warrnambool stable and possessing a category A or B longarm that was not registered.
Stable employee Tyson Kermond was charged with seven offences, including the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of all three horses – a charge also brought to Weir and McLean. The four men have been ordered to return to court on February 14 for a committal hearing.
Racing Victoria is also set to charge McLean with the alleged possession of banned substance erythropoietin – known as EPO – and administering it to Cats Fun who last raced five years ago in a case that does not relate to the criminal charges against him.
The four men declined to comment outside court.
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