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dark horse

An unexpected success.

Etymology:

  • Originally an allusion to an unknown horse with a dark coat winning a race, as used in the 1831 novel The Young Duke by Benjamin Disraeli : “ and a dark horse, which had never been thought of, rushed past the grand stand in sweeping triumph.”
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Everyone was expecting the red team to win, but the greens were the dark horse in the event.

Submitted on September 01, 2009

Additional definitions for 'dark horse':

dark horseA candidate who is nominated unexpectedly, without previously having been discussed or considered as a likely choice.
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