Darren Weir: Trainer charged with animal cruelty and conspiracy

Darren Weir celebrates winning the Melbourne Cup in 2015
Australian Weir has won more than 30 races at the elite Grade One level

Australian trainer Darren Weir has been charged with animal cruelty, conspiracy and possessing an unregistered weapon.

The Melbourne Cup-winning trainer was given a four-year ban from the sport in February for possessing equipment used to deliver electric shocks to horses.

The 49-year-old is one of four men charged after an investigation by Victoria State's Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit.

Weir is due to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 23 October.

He is one of Australia's top trainers and claimed a landmark victory in the 2015 Melbourne Cup when jockey Michelle Payne won aboard Prince Of Penzance,

He faces nine charges, including three counts of "engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying a thoroughbred race horse" and three counts of "causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a thoroughbred race horse".

Weir was charged with conspiracy to defraud stewards of the state racing authority, possessing an unregistered Category A firearm and using the controlled weapon without excuse.