Definition of Dark Horse

What is the meaning of the term dark horse when used in relation to sports?

Dark horse is a phrase that describes an individual or a team about whom little is known, but who unexpectedly finish in first place.

The Kings sports dictionary entry - Dark Horse - Meaning and illustration.

Originally, dark horse was a racing-related term describing a horse that is difficult to place odds on due to lack of information about it.

A dark horse is not the main favoured candidate. A dark horse exceeds expectations and shocks everyone with a great performance.

Prior to a major sporting event, such as the FIFA World Cup for example, pundits and sports bettors alike try to find the tournament dark horse, who could come out and surprise.

A good example of a dark horse would be the Denmark national football team, who won the 1992 Euro Cup in Sweden after having only two weeks to prepare for it.