Maher to take over Weir’s horses
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace training team will take over Darren Weir's training complex from today.
Ballarat Turf Club chief executive Lachlan McKenzie said it would be a brand new business, as Maher has bought Weir out, and the partnership will take over the horses, which were still at the Forest Lodge stables.
"It's a great result. They will employ all of Darren's staff but it will be a brand new business," McKenzie said.
"We're confident Ciaron Maher Racing will be instrumental in the continued growth of our training centre in coming years. BTC is very happy to welcome a training partnership of this calibre to Ballarat."
Maher and Eustace will now have stables at Caulfield, Warwick Farm, Balnarring, Pakenham and now Ballarat.
Maher said it was a massive opportunity to take over a premier training facility in Victoria.
"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," Maher said.
"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."
Maher said Ballarat was one of the best training centres in the world.
McKenzie predicted it wouldn't take long for the Maher racing to become the leading trainer in the state.
"Like Darren, he has an innate understanding of the thoroughbred," McKenzie said.
"He has the back-up in the way his business is structured to support such a big undertaking.
"If I could have had a pick as to who I wanted to replace Darren it would have been Ciaron."
McKenzie said it has been a difficult time watching the disintegration of the Weir empire.
"Darren was at the stables yesterday and his prime concern was for his staff," he said.