LEADING Australian rider Darren Beadman left Happy Valley racecourse in tears yesterday after being disqualified for nine months for not allowing a horse to run on its merits at Sha Tin. Considered one of the world's top riders, Beadman has until 5 pm tomorrow to lodge an appeal against the disqualification which means he cannot set foot on a racecourse anywhere in the world until August 30 next year. Beadman was comforted by wife Kim after race meeting stewards handed down the ban after a 90-minute hearing. Beadman was charged under the most serious regulation in local racing, Rule 131 (i), which states every horse that runs in a race must be run on its merits. The 25-year-old jockey was found not to have ridden Better Choice on its merits in the final race at Sha Tin on Sunday. Beadman rode fourth-placed Better Choice for trainer Geoff Lane, who gave evidence at the inquiry along with English jockey Dean McKeown, a previous rider of the gelding. The race was won by Chance Planet (10-1), ridden by Darren Gauci. Stewards watched film of Beadman's rides on Better Choice on Sunday and last March and also his handling of Chiu Chow Warrior on November 13. Beadman left the inquiry room after giving evidence and sat alone in the grandstand. When he heard the decision, which means the certain end of his Hong Kong career, he broke down in tears.