Can Hong Kong’s World Cup animal oracle Datou the dog predict the winner of Russia 2018?

Eleven-year-old former stray flexes his mystical muscles to offer a tip to befuddled bettors across the world

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 11:04am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 11:47am

We give up. It’s impossible. Just too close to call. We’ve been stalling on placing our World Cup 2018 outright winner bet for weeks now in the hope that as the tournament drew nearer, a side would emerge from the blur of talent on show in Russia and become the true front-runners for this year’s competition.

If only Paul the Octopus was still with us. He was a beacon of hope for the poltroonish punter. His tantalising tentacles teased their way around the box that the mystical mollusc was lumping for and gamblers across the world rejoiced – he’d made their foolish minds up for them.

The official World Cup animal oracle this time around is Achilles the cat, a deaf, white feline employed as a mouse hunter at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.

He picked Russia to beat Saudi Arabia in the opening game.

Alternative Fifa World Cup 2018 predictions – what will happen off the pitch in Russia?

So, in our own effort to have somebody (or something) else make our mind up for us this time around, we replicated these animal experiments with a much more accessible creature, the canis lupus familiaris, man’s best friend and now the bewildered bettor’s best buddy.

Datou is an eleven-year-old West Highland Maltese, a cross-breed famed for its metaphysical sensitivities, and one sunny afternoon this week, we bought some of his favourite treats, buttoned on his favourite shark costume and set the stage for him to become a hero.

Watch: Datou selects his World Cup 2018 pick

So there you have it. We’d guess few of you fancied the unfancied Norsemen of Iceland as the winners of the 21st Fifa World Cup, but Datou has categorically spoken.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is currently offering odds of $250 on the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists. Time to bundle on Heimir Hallgrimsson’s men.

Datou will not be held responsible for any financial losses incurred by following his prediction