World Cup: Two legs good, four legs better?

World Cup: Two legs good, four legs better?
World Cup Tipping.

For World Cup 2010, The New Paper used Mani the parakeet, which became a worldwide sensation with his picks.

At the European Championships in 2012, we featured arowanas Big Huat and Little Huat, who were trained to knock food out of a container to make their choices.

This time around, get set to hear it straight from the horses' mouths.

Meet the "Neighsayers", The New Paper's animal psychics for World Cup 2014.

TNP deputy editor S Murali said: "In 2012, it was the year of the dragon, so we had 'dragon fish' arowanas help us pick the winners. This time around, it's the year of the horse, so we asked for help from our partners at the Singapore Turf Club (STC) to make these predictions possible."

The process of picking a winner is straightforward.

Two horses are pitted against each other in a 200-metre sprint, their allegiance reflected in the football jerseys worn by the jockeys.

A third jockey will sport a neutral jersey and if his horse finishes first, the prediction for that match is a draw.


The horses are slated to pick the outcomes of 14 fixtures during the tournament - five group matches, four round-of-16 games, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final.

STC vice-president (corporate services) Simon Leong said: "When we were approached by TNP to allow them to use our horses to predict the outcomes for the World Cup matches, we felt that this was a fun and novel way to do so."

He added: "Since this is the year of the horse, I suppose this is the most obvious animal to use as compared to fishes or parrots."

So, on a blazing hot Wednesday afternoon, we handed our equine friends their first test: Brazil versus Croatia.

On the Brazilian side is Giggler, a 13-year-old gelding who found himself up against "Croatian" Haizum, a six-year-old, with the neutral, five-year-old Emblessed.

Age proved to be no handicap, as Giggler took an early lead and went on to be first past the post. Searing heat? No sweat.

So there you have it, the first prediction from our "Neighsayers" - the Samba Boys are going to beat Croatia tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

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