All-Weather Championships Betting: Tom Lee's Thursday Meeting Tips

We may be heading deep into bedrock National Hunt territory as the leaves fall and the rain arrives, but fans of high quality Flat racing need not despair, with Unibet one of a clutch of firms once again throwing their weight behind the big money All-Weather Championships.

Building on two hugely successful campaigns, the third Championships kick-off with this week's Thursday Lingfield Park card the starting point for five months of high class sport at all-weather venues, culminating in the £1.1m Finals Day at the same venue on Good Friday, March 25, 2016.

Britain's five all-weather tracks all stage key races throughout the winter months, with racing at Chelmsford, Kempton, Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton providing opportunities for punters, as well as openings for the equine population and their associated owners, trainers and riders.

Add into the mix opportunities further afield in Ireland and France to try and encourage foreign visitors and you've got an exciting cocktail, building up to the big day in March, with a series of 'fast-track qualifiers' providing chances to bag a Finals Day spot well in advance, and in the process net some seriously impressive prize money along the way.

The first of those qualifiers is on the day the Championships spark back into life, with the opening day's eight race card at Lingfield featuring the listed 1m 1f Fleur De Lys Fillies' Stakes (3.20pm), a £40,000 prize which guarantees the winner a slot in the £150,000 Fillies and Mares Final on the big day.

It's an intriguing contest, bringing together a field of 12 from the nation's leading Flat stables, with the inflated prize fund attracting runners from North Yorkshire (Richard Fahey's Dusky Queen) and South Lanarkshire (Keith Dalgleish's Invoke).

Vet turned trainer James Tate has two chances of landing the spoils, with Taaqah of interest after bringing home good prize money when second in a listed race in Germany last time out, while stablemate Lamar looks one to take very seriously, given that she found only Fresles too hot to handle when runner-up in the 2015 Fillies And Mares Final.

However, the Royal Blue of Godolphin was seen to good effect on many occasions during last year's Championships, and it could be first blood to them, with Saeed Bin Suroor's three-year-old Lope De Vega filly, Very Special, the pick.

Thrice raced, she could be explosive stepping up in trip.

On debut she ran away from inferior opposition at Yarmouth in September 2014, before showing up prominently against high class opposition on just her second ever outing, finishing just two and a quarter lengths behind Osaila (who went on to be placed at the Breeders' Cup and win at Royal Ascot) in a £300,000 Sales race.

Last time out she bolted up in a Kempton Conditions event, proving her ability to act on an artificial surface, and re-enforcing her fondness for producing first time out.

In the hands of Oisin Murphy, she looks the best bet on the card.

Elsewhere at Lingfield, the day's other listed contest, the 1m 5f EBF Stallions River Eden Fillies' Stakes (2.20pm), could go the way of John Gosden and Nicky Mackay, with the pair teaming up with a daughter of Azamour, California.

There's symmetry here with Very Special, in that she's a three-times raced, three-year-old representative of an elite Newmarket stable, stepping up in trip in a race where she gets weight from the older horses.

Unlike Very Special she does have to prove she can acclimatise to the all-weather, but she looked slick on debut in a Wetherby maiden, and then followed up easily in a Doncaster handicap, on a day when she was backed into 5/2 favouritism.

Master trainer Gosden then paid her a handsome compliment, upping her to listed company and shipping her to France to run at Chantilly in the Prix Charles Laffitte at the end of last month.

She appeared to be crying out for a step up in trip on that occasion, as a sluggish early pace didn't suit, powering home over a mile and a quarter to finish seventh (when again sent off favourite).

An extra three furlongs could be just the ticket. 

Stick with us because the fun starts here for all-weather fans, and on a weekly basis over the next five months we'll be dissecting the best moments of the Championships, and trying to sniff out the best opportunities for a wager on behalf of Unibet punters.

Good luck!


Thursday's best bets with Unibet at Lingfield Park:

2.20 - EBF Stallions River Eden Fillies' Stakes - 9 California (win)

3.20 - Fleur De Lys Fillies' Stakes - 12 Very Special (win)