From the golf course Hercules sped as quickly as possible to Dark Horse Bookmakers, stepping inside as a clock chimed two o’clock. The whole place was buzzing with sound, as a group of ten or so punters watched the final moments of what appeared to be a thrilling race. As the leading horse crossed the line a big cheer went up – it appeared that all of them had won their bets...!
The owner, Diomedes, grinned and welcomed Hercules inside. “I’m afraid if you were hoping to bet on any of the races at Thessaloniki today, you’ve just missed out – that was the twelfth and final race. Windmill just pipped Chilli Sauce to the finish line – exactly as I knew she would...”
Diomedes gave a sneaky chuckle and proceeded round to the cashiers’ area. “So do you want to place a bet, young Hercules? The races at Miletus begin at two-thirty – there’s seven on the racecard there for today – or if you’re quick you could have a shot at the last race of the day at Athens, which starts in eight minutes.”
Hercules retrieved his mother’s betting slip from his pocket and looked down at it. “It’s the Athens race she wants – the two-ten – but...” – Hercules sighed – “...she’s forgotten to write down the name of the horse she wants to bet on.”
Diomedes’ grin grew wider and he beckoned Hercules closer, lowering his voice. “If I tell you the winning horses from the other races at Athens, perhaps you can work it out...” He passed Hercules a sheet of paper with the details of the six races for the day:
“Okay,” said Hercules, “Cheesecake has won two already, so she’s got form...” He stopped at the sight of Diomedes shaking his head and smiling.
“That’s not how it works,” Diomedes said, lowering his voice still further. “You see, here at Dark Horse we have a little... ‘inside information’ that we can use to our advantage. For any given race on any given racetrack across Greece, we can work out if it has a... er... foregone conclusion, shall we say? There’s a code, see, among the racing circles. If all except two horses in a race meet a certain criterion, that's a sign to us that the race is rigged, and the horse that meets that criterion in a very particular way is the one to put your money on. Now, it just so happens that all of the Athens races today are ‘predictable’ – and I hear you’re a whizz with puzzles, so if you want to get that betting slip of your mother’s submitted you’ve got five minutes to work out who to put your money on...”
TASK: Deduce the Greek betting syndicate’s method for rigging races. Identify the horse that will win the two-ten at Athens.
Race 1 (13:10),Race 2 (13:22),Race 3 (13:34),Race 4 (13:46),Race 5 (13:58),Race 6 (14:10) CHEESECAKE,DISHCLOTH,CHEESECAKE,CHEESECAKE,DICTIONARY,CHEESECAKE DUNGAREES,DICTIONARY,DISHCLOTH,DUNGAREES,DISHCLOTH,DICTIONARY DICTIONARY,DUNGAREES,GOLDFISH,MAYONNAISE,ELEPHANT,DISHCLOTH ELEPHANT,ELEPHANT,GOLDFINCH,MICROCHIPS,GOLDFINCH,DUNGAREES MAYONNAISE,GOLDFISH,MAYONNAISE,MOBILE HOME,MAYONNAISE,GOLDFISH MOBILE HOME,OLD HAT,MICROCHIPS,OLD HAT,PITCHFORK,MAYONNAISE OLD HAT,PITCHFORK,MOBILE HOME,RICE PUDDING,RICE PUDDING,MICROCHIPS RICE PUDDING,STRING BEANS,OLD HAT,STRING BEANS,STRING BEANS,STRING BEANS STRING BEANS,TOMBSTONE,PITCHFORK,TOMBSTONE,TOMBSTONE,TOMBSTONE VINTAGE CAR,VINTAGE CAR,TOMBSTONE,VINTAGE CAR,VINTAGE CAR,VINTAGE CAR