The method was largely applied to lotteries, cock-fighting, and
horse-racing. It may be asked how it is possible to calculate
the odds in horse-racing, when perhaps the jockeys in a great
measure know before they start which is to win?
In answer to this a question may be proposed:--Suppose I toss up
a half-penny, and you are to guess whether it will be head or
tail--must it not be allowed that you have an equal chance to win
as to lose? Or, if I hide a half-penny under a hat, and I know
what it is, have you not as good a chance to guess right, as if
it were tossed up? My KNOWING IT TO BE HEAD can be no hindrance
to you, as long as you have liberty of choosing either head or
tail. In spite of this reasoning, there are people who build so
much upon their own opinion, that should their favourite horse
happen to be beaten, they will have it to be owing to some fraud.
The following fact is mentioned as a 'paradox.'
It happened at Malden, in Essex, in the year 1738, that three
horses (and no more than three) started for a L10 plate, and they
were all three distanced the first heat, according to the common
rules in horse-racing, without any quibble or equivocation; and
the following was the solution:--The first horse ran on the
inside of the post; the second wanted weight; and the third fell
and broke a fore-leg.
 Cheany's Horse-racing Book.