THE greatest ‘‘kick in the guts’’ Paul Beshara has experienced in 40 years as a trainer might yet be followed by the greatest moment in his career.

AAP reports in THE AGE that Victoria’s Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RAD) disqualified the Adelaide-based Beshara for treating his horse Happy Trails on the day it was due to race at Moonee Valley last month.

Under new rules, a guilty verdict in such a case attracts a mandatory minimum six month disqualification which RAD Board chairman Russell Lewis announced on Monday, albeit with some regret.

But Beshara is still likely to be permitted to saddle up the horse he knows as ‘‘Roy’’ in Saturday’s Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

While Happy Trails isn’t among the top-ranked Cox Plate runners, he isn’t without a chance – he finished fourth in the  race  last year.

‘‘I’m going to appeal, I think we have strong grounds,’’ Beshara said.

‘‘I still say I did nothing wrong. This is the biggest kick in the guts I’ve ever had‘‘In 40 years of training I’ve never even had a fine before.’’

It is expected Beshara will be granted a stay of proceedings pending the appeal to allow Happy Trails to run in his name on Saturday.The RAD Board earlier ruled in favour of the stewards who inspected Happy Trails on the day he was to have raced and found a puncture mark on his neck, which they said was evidence the horse had been injected.They found no syringe or other equipment with which the horse could have been treated, and no traces of prohibited substances were found in blood samples.

But the Board described Beshara’s alternative explanations for the puncture mark and an accompanying haematoma as ‘‘fanciful’’.

The case is the first to be heard in Victoria under new national rules that call for the mandatory six month sentence.The previous trainer to be found guilty of the same offence was fined $8000 in circumstances that appeared less convincing than those surrounding Beshara.

‘‘I understand it would be a cause of some grievance,’’ Lewis said. The RAD Board earlier explained to Beshara and his counsel the only grounds on which they could argue for anything less than the prescribed six month sentence were if such a penalty might be contrary to ‘‘the interests of justice’’.But no such grounds could be made out by Beshara or his advocate.

Beshara, 64, said if his appeal failed the penalty meant the end of his career.

‘‘Who’s going to give a bloke of my age another go,’’ he said outside the inquiry. The penalty means Beshara is prohibited from entering licensed premises, including racing stables, meaning he must move from the Adelaide property where he lives and stables his horses, or remove the horses.

* Leading jockeys Glen Boss and Nick Hall will know today if they can ride in the Cox Plate with both appealing careless riding suspensions.

Boss was outed for 12 meetings after he was found guilty of shifting ground in the early stages of Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.Winning Caulfield Cup jockey Hall was put out for 10 meetings for causing interference on Scarlet Billows in the first race of the meeting.

Boss is the regular partner of Puissance De Lune while Hall will miss out on riding one of the Lloyd Williams-owned runners in Saturday’s Cox Plate.

Hall claimed his biggest win for Williams, who is his godfather, when he steered Fawkner to victory in the Caulfield Cup.