PUNTERS were left absolutely furious over a 'sickening' ride that landed the female jockey a two-month ban.
Top apprentice Stacey Metcalfe felt the full wrath of livid racing fans after her very suspect ride aboard 13-1 chance Exalted Maxine.
Metcalfe, 33, surged clear on the five-year-old mare in a 7f contest at Murray Bridge in Australia on Wednesday.
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The contest looked all but over half-way round as Metcalfe led by around eight lengths.
And she seemed to have the easiest job just getting the runaway leader home to scoop the £15,000 first-place prize.
Punters were licking their lips too at the prospect of a tasty payout – until it all went wrong.
With the finish post in sight, Metcalfe appeared to slow her horse down, allowing the charging pack to get near for the first time in the race.
And it was not until I Am Bolt neared in the dying strides that Metcalfe asked her mount to work.
But by then it was too late, and what looked like certain victory turned into a second-place finish – and a nightmare for punters who backed her.
They let their feelings known and flooded social media with tweets blasting the ride.
One said: "That is sickening. Backed Exalted Maxine. Stacey Metcalfe is off for a long holiday."
Another commented: "If you backed Exalted Maxine give up for life."
A fellow Twitter user wrote: "Bit of a holiday here coming up for Metcalfe #Nightmare."
One said: "Disgrace. Ban her for life."
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Another punter posted: "Stacey Metcalfe stopped riding for eight strides there. You'd be very annoyed if you were on Exalted Maxine."
A fellow user wrote: "Exalted Maxine that’ll do me forever."
Metcalfe copped the ban after pleading guilty to failing to ride her horse out approaching the end of a race.
UK punters were raging last month after jockey Rab Havlin landed a 21-day ban for a 'ridiculous' ride at Lingfield.
Havlin was aboard 16-1 shot Stowell in the 1m4f contest at the Surrey track.
Approaching the final stages of the race, he looked well beaten as Frankie Dettori surged clear on 2-9 favourite Polling Day.
But rounding the bend for the home straight, Havlin – who has since broken his silence since his ban was enforced – could be seen appearing to hold his horse back.
Meeting a bit of traffic into the final couple of furlongs, Havlin had to manoeuvre his mount past rivals while Dettori went ahead on Stowell's stablemate.
But as Polling Day, who holds an entry in the Epsom Classic, tired towards the post, Stowell, who was making his debut, kept travelling strongly.
Dettori was all out on his horse as the line approached while Havlin looked to be coasting on the rapidly approaching Stowell.
Polling Day eventually held on for the win, with Stowell – who had drifted from 8-1 to 16-1 before the off – passing him in the next few strides after the finish.
Punters were absolutely floored by what happened because they thought Stowell should easily have won the race.
One punter claimed: "Absolutely shocking. He should have won doing handstands."
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