Dark-Horse Candidate

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An unknown candidate who wins unpredictably


  • This expression holds three major origins and all are associated with the horse racing of early 19th century. Its first origin is linked with the racing contest, where a dark house was a fast runner whose speed was kept undisclosed (dark) till the race started and in the end this dark horse won unexpectedly. Its second origin is interrelated with a fact that often an owner of a faster horse coloured its hair black as a cover earlier than a big race. Its third origin is associated with the act of specific American horse trader who deceived people by disguising his fast black stallion as a common saddle horse. He rode the horse into town, prepared for a race, took bets on his horse and always won the race.

We were all surprised when Alia won this contest because she was a dark-horse candidate.

Submitted on February 25, 2019


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Nearby phrases

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    US English

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"Dark-Horse Candidate." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Jun 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/dark-horse-candidate_44600>.

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