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Stirling Prize almost too tight to call, says bookies

Bookmaker William Hill has said this year's Stirling Prize is one of the closest in the history of the high-profile architectural award.

The turf accountant admitted it had been surprised by how little cash had been wagered on the prize, and blamed the lack of a clear frontrunner for the slow betting in the run up to tomorrow night's televised ceremony (11 October).

A spokesman for William Hill said: 'Betting has been really quiet so far as obviously no-one has got any huge conviction about who will go on and win.

'Architecture is quite a small community so you'd expect whispers to be going around and a frontrunner emerge. Traditionally we have lost money on the Stirling but, unlike in previous years, there is no stand-out favourite.

He added: 'However, this is certainly the closest race for the Stirling Prize this millennium.'

As the frontrunners continue to change, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris' Westminster Academy in London has been shuffled to the top of the pack with odds of 3/1.

In second spot is Denton Corker Marshall's Manchester Civil Justice Centre at odds of 7/2, while Nordpark Cable Railway by Zaha Hadid Architects is now 4/1. However, there is little to split the field with the Accordia development in Cambridge, which is propping up the six finalists, priced at 5/1.

The winner will be announced tomorrow (11 October) from Liverpool's BT Arena and Convention Centre, designed by previous Stirling Prize-winner Wilkinson Eyre.

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