Weir returns to farm life after awkward farewell
BANNED trainer Darren Weir spent his final week at Forest Lodge recommending new trainers for horses, briefing them on the gallopers' idiosyncrasies and fitness levels, and bidding farewell to his longtime staff.
He also had to wade his way through the complicated transfer of ownership of many horses in which he had an interest.
Weir was given 10 days to get his business interests in order, including the transfer of his Ballarat stables to Ciaron Maher, following a crippling four-year disqualification last week after the discovery of three 'jiggers' in his master bedroom at the property.
The 48-year-old left the Forest Lodge property earlier this week. He is understood to have settled back into his farm at Treveson Park in Maldon.
The Sunday Herald Sun has been able to confirm that several owners and friends of Weir - although shocked by the swift nature of the raids on his property and his subsequent suspension - have been in contact with him to inquire about his welfare and to offer personal support.
"Everyone makes mistakes," one person who preferred to remain anonymous said this week. "No one wants to see him crucified."
Maher admitted it had been "awkward" in sorting out the transfer of Forest Lodge last week, but stressed that everyone involved knew it had to be achieved.
"It was like standing in someone's living room and they had to sell their house - and I was just the guy trying to buy it," Maher said.
"But Darren and his team were very straightforward … they knew it had to be done."
Weir briefed Maher on the former horses transferred into his care, including stars Extra Brut, Nights Watch, Humidor, Voodoo Lad, Sopressa and Gailo Chop.
Weir's former staff - most of whom will be redeployed with Maher - are shattered by what has transpired this month.
But some showed their support to their former trainer by changing their Facebook profiles to include images taken with the five-time champion trainer.