Ciaron Maher Racing has secured the Ballarat stables formerly owned and occupied by Darren Weir and will begin operating out of the complex immediately.
The Ballarat Turf Club announced the move on Thursday and Racing Victoria has given approval for the training partnership of Maher and David Eustace to replace Weir at the stable formerly known as Forest Lodge.
Weir on Wednesday was disqualified for four years by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on charges of possessing three electronic devices known as jiggers.
RV said the transfer of horses from Weir to Maher and Eustace must remain on an individual basis by application of the owners and be approved by stewards.
Maher and Eustace will not be allowed to nominate any horse under the care of Weir at the time of his disqualification until it has been transferred to their care with the approval of stewards.
“We trust this morning’s announcement by the Ballarat Turf Club and Ciaron Maher Racing will be welcomed by those staff affected by Darren Weir’s disqualification and provide them with greater certainty about their immediate working future after a challenging week,” RV chief executive Giles Thompson said.
“This is also a positive announcement for the Ballarat community, along with those local suppliers servicing the industry, that a major high-profile training combination in Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have moved swiftly to fill the void that has been left by Mr Weir.
“This also presents a viable option for those owners of Mr Weir’s who would like their horses to remain in their current training environment at Ballarat.”
Maher has also entered a lease agreement for other stables at Ballarat formerly leased by Weir while Nigel Blackiston is also moving from Flemington to an on-course stable at Ballarat.
“This is a huge opportunity for Ciaron Maher Racing to take over a premier training facility in Victoria,” Maher said in a statement.
“Our business is well structured to facilitate this addition, both practically and administratively, and our key priority is to ensure a swift takeover with minimal disruption to the staff and horses there.
“We already provide a vast array of training options and locations for our horses, including traditional track training at Caulfield, beach training at Balnarring and dressage and arena work at our Pakenham Pre-Training farm.
“In addition we have recently opened a stable at Warwick Farm in Sydney. Adding a country training facility provides yet another string to our bow and we believe this will be of great benefit to our current owners and, hopefully, our new ones.”