Origins of Sayings - A Dark Horse

About the history and origins behind the famous saying a dark horse.

Stories behind Famous Sayings

The Saying: A DARK HORSE

Who Said It: Benjamin Disraeli

When: 1831

The Story behind It: One of England's most distinguished prime ministers, Disraeli was also a noted novelist and poet. In the second book of his three-volume novel The Young Duke: A Moral Tale Though Gay, Disraeli has his main character, the Duke of St. James, attend a horse race that has a surprise finish: "A dark horse which had never been thought of, and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grandstand in sweeping triumph." Today, the phrase "dark horse" is used to identify any unexpected winner.

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