Melbourne Cup winning horse trainer Darren Weir and his co-accused are facing court for a contested committal hearing against allegations they tortured horses and engaged in corrupt betting.
Weir, his fellow trainer Jarrod McLean and stable hand Tyson Kermond are appearing on the Online Magistrates' Court on Tuesday for the hearing.
The men face a combined dozens of charges ranging from corrupt betting to conspiring to deceive stewards and animal torture involving 2018 Cup runner Red Cardinal, as well as Cup hopefuls Yogi and Tosen Basil.
Weir and McLean are accused of conspiring "to cheat and defraud the stewards of Racing Victoria".
Evidence against the group will be tested throughout the two-day committal hearing and the magistrate will determine whether it should go to trial in the County Court.
Barristers for horse trainers Jarrod McLean and Darren Weir have cross-examined the police officer who investigated the case.
Senior Constable Matthew Don was the prosecution's third witness at the contested committal hearing at the online Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.
Senior Constable Don was involved in search warrants at Weir's stables in Ballarat and Warrnambool in January, 2019, while he was working in the Victoria Police sporting integrity unit.
Read more: Day one of the hearing
McLean's defence barrister, Jason Gullaci, had previously questioned the police officer about his notes taken during a conversation he had with the informant on October 11, 2018, which referenced the use of cameras in the investigation.
In his notes, Senior Constable Don wrote, "Cameras don't capture anything".
He agreed with Mr Gullaci he did not recall the conversation with the informant, Detective Senior Constable Cliff Pickett.
But Senior Constable Don said a discussion would have occurred about potential avenues the investigation was heading.
"My evidence is we would have had several conversations about the avenues the investigation could go," Senior Constable Don said.
The final prosecution witness, Detective Senior Constable Cliff Pickett of the sporting integrity unit, was cross-examined after the police investigator.
He agreed with Weir's defence barrister, Ian Hill QC, there was more footage available of the horses training other than October 30, 2018.
Weir has been accused of using a conducted energy device, known as a jigger on horses Yogi, Red Cardinal and Tosen Basil while running on a treadmill wearing blinkers in Warrnambool on October 30, 2018.
The court was told cameras were installed at Weir's Ballarat premises between November 1 and November 12, 2018, and his Warrnambool premises between October 25 and November 13, 2018.
Detective Senior Constable Pickett said the horses exercised on the treadmill for the majority of time in the mornings.
He believed race horse Tosen Basil was being trained on the treadmill before October 30, 2018, and there was a regime of training that was improper and illegal.
"There were horses going on and off the treadmill," Detective Senior Constable Pickett said.
But in response to Mr Hill's question if there was nothing untoward the way the horses were exercised on the treadmill before and after October 30, Detective Senior Constable Pickett said, "yes".
Mr Hill put to the police informant he did not disclose the "extra" footage, other than the footage from October 30, to horse behaviour expert Dr Andrew Neil McLean or Racing Victoria stewards chairman Robert Cram.
Both men are prosecution witnesses.
"If there was something incriminating that related to the three or four accused, and if it was serious enough, then it would have been included," Detective Senior Constable Pickett said.
Mr Hill said the footage was of horses simply being exercised, to which Detective Senior Constable Pickett replied, "Apart from one occasion when I saw horses being tortured".
When asked why the police informant did not tell Dr McLean and Mr Cram there was more footage available, Detective Senior Constable Pickett said, "it wasn't relevant to his expertise".
He disagreed he "deliberately chose to withhold exploratory evidence" from his experts.
"No, I didn't deliberately. I just chose to not show him," Detective Senior Constable Pickett said.
Mr Hill questioned the police informant about the Red Cardinal and Yogi jockeys allegedly using a whistling cue during the 2018 Melbourne Cup and 2018 Lexus Stakes.
Detective Senior Constable Pickett said the jockeys were not forthcoming talking to police officers and there was no evidence the jockeys were whistling to the horses during racing.
Apart from one occasion when I saw horses being tortured- Detective Senior Constable Cliff Pickett
He agreed with Weir's barrister the prosecution expert witness Dr Cram was not shown footage of the 2018 Melbourne Cup, 2018 Lexus Stakes and 2018 Sandown Cup.
The court was told investigators spoke to some race stewards who did not see anything unusual relating to Red Cardinal and Yogi.
Weir took part in an interview with police which lasted for five hours.
He told investigators he did not train horses for a punt, saying "I train because I love horses" and he "very rarely" bet on horses.
Weir has not been charged with gambling offences.
In cross-examining Detective Senior Constable Pickett, McLean's defence barrister Mr Gullaci put to the police informant his client did not hold the 'jigger' device and did not apply blinkers.
"Mr McLean strikes one horse with the poly pipe?" Mr Gullaci asked, to which Detective Senior Constable Pickett agreed with the remarks.
Mr Pickett then argued the police informant had merged terminology into a telephone transcript and taking conversations out of context, to which Detective Senior Constable Pickett denied.
Kermond's defence barrister, Michael Allen, put to Detective Senior Constable Pickett footage of his client showed he took horses off the treadmill, he did not use poly pipe or a jigger and he was not seen operating the treadmill's speed.
"Yes, that's 100 per cent (true)," Detective Senior Constable Pickett said.
Weir's stable hand, William Hernan, is not involved in the contested committal hearing.
His defence lawyer Tony Hannebery said he would not be making a summary jurisdiction application, which is a hearing to decide whether the charges can be heard in the magistrates' court.
The contested committal hearing has been adjourned to October 8 to allow magistrate Ron Saines to view the footage from Weir's Warrnambool premises taken on October 30, 2018.
In the meantime, defence barristers for Weir, Kermond and McLean will file written submissions to the court and the prosecution will have time to respond to those.
Two hours has been allocated for the hearing on October 8. At the end, the magistrate will determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the charges to proceed to a trial at the County Court.
Trainer Darren Kenneth Weir, 50, is facing a total of 11 charges.
Trainer Jarrod Alexander McLean, 39, is facing a total of 17 charges.
Stable hand Tyson Lee Kermond, 32, is facing a total of eight charges.
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