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Famed female gambler to take on 'the best bet in the world'

SHE became Britain's most successful female punter when a £2 bet on the horses won her £688,620 in 2007.

But Agnes Haddock, the ­Glasgow gambler who discarded the form guides and struck lucky after picking horses for their "nice names" is today hoping to help others repeat her good fortune by scooping the largest ever prize offered on a British racecourse.

Following a series of rollovers, the Tote Scoop 6 jackpot - which is paid out if gamblers successfully choose all of the winners in six specified races - could top £10 million with the opportunity to then win a £5 million bonus.

Mrs Haddock, 57, who now lives in Cheshire, has become a famous figure in the racing world and will appear this morning on Channel 4 Racing. She has formed an online syndicate in the hope that she will once again win a share of the spoils.

She described the Tote Scoop 6 - a televised pool bet - as "the best bet in Britain and probably the world".

It is far from a banker - the chances of winning the top prize with a lucky dip is around one in four million.

However, they are significantly shorter odds than the 14 million to one offered by the National Lottery and seasoned tipsters insist they can improve their chances by applying their own knowledge when making their picks.

Ms Haddock said that while she still aims to win the jackpot again alone, she would be delighted to see her syndicate - in which all members receive a share of any winnings - take the top prize.

"It's just great fun and it only costs a couple of quid. I'm hoping we're all rolling in a fresh fortune this weekend," she said. "Winning it has helped me get to the Melbourne Cup a couple of times.

"I set up another online syndicate Aggies Nags and we won a couple of small Scoop 6 pools getting about £30,000, which was a nice sum to win, but this week the pools will be out of this world.

"And a small part of a large fortune is still a wonderful windfall."

Since its launch in 1999, the bet has become hugely popular with gamblers, attracted by the huge winnings on offer for a small stake. This weekend, the highest amount ever is on offer.

Those who pick the six winners are entitled to their share of the estimated £10 million win fund, with a £5 million bonus fund then paid out if they pick one winner from a specified race the following weekend.

Ms Haddock won £410,332 after picking the six winners, before also successfully predicting the bonus winner a week later.

She claimed to have picked one of her winners, Clouding Over, because "it looked like rain as she went into the betting shop". She was attracted to another because of the name Simon. "I used to work with a really nice lad called Simon", she said, after winning the huge prize.

She said she chose her bonus horse, Taranis, because he was number 13 - and her birthday was on the 13th. However, the horse was also the 9-4 favourite, leading some to suspect that she may have been cannier than she admitted.

Ms Haddock, who ran an ironing business until her big win, appeared in the national press after hitting the jackpot and was interviewed on television.

However, not all have shared her luck. Last weekend, decorator Joe McGuire spent £8 in his bid to claim the jackpot. He selected the first five winners - only for his final horse, the pre-race favourite, to come in second.

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