dark horse candidate

dark horse candidate

1. a contestant about whom little is known and who wins unexpectedly — темная лошадка

Example: She's a dark-horse candidate for the position of company director.

2. a person who does not tell other people about their ideas or skills and who surprises people by doing something that they do not expect

Example: I didn't know Linda had written a novel. She's a bit of a dark horse, isn't she?

3. a person who wins a race or competition although no one expected them to

Example: 17-year-old Karen Pickering could also be a dark horse for (= she could win) a medal in the European Championships.

see also
unknown quantity