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Stable raids: Police chief Ashton tells of ‘supportive evidence’

Victoria’s top cop says raids on the stables of champion horse trainer Darren Weir has bolstered a police investigation.

Weir was one of three men arrested but later released without charge after police and racing authorities swooped at his Ballarat and Warrnambool properties.

Items including an unlicensed gun and electric prods – ‘jiggers’ – were seized.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told Neil Mitchell that while the investigation continues, Wednesday’s raids produced valuable evidence.

“The evidence is supportive, at this stage, of what we think might’ve been going on,” Mr Ashton said.

He said police will now work with racing authorities as to whether the matter continues as a criminal investigation or “in the regulatory environment of the racing investigators”.

Mr Ashton, who has bred and owned racehorses himself, said he considered the Victorian racing industry a “pretty clean sport”.

“They’ve had a tough period, but I think that’s also been evidence of the fact they’ve been taking a tough approach in dealing with it.

“Some of the things they’ve dealt with have been things that have probably been happening a fair while.

“They’re ripping that band-aid off now and taking a serious approach, which is what you want.

“As with a lot of sports, you have one bad incident and it can do a lot to darken the image.”

Click PLAY for the full Mitchell/Ashton interview