In a bid rigging (談合入札) how do you call the suppliers:

  • the one to win the contract
  • others who are intended just to take part and to lose (I recall some expression with 馬)

As we are talking about illegal activity, I expect these expressions to be slangy.

  • found 対抗馬{たいこうば} for a "rival candidate", but I think there was more specific expression for a "horse that will definitely lose"
    – macraf
    Sep 10, 2015 at 15:12
  • Right, it is not 「対抗馬」 as there is no competition among the "horses" to begin with in 談合. Hint: There is a kana in the middle of the correct word. And for your first question, the answer is a 2-or-4-kanji word containing 「命」. Not sure why the experts have not posted an answer to this excellent question. (Unfortunately, I am no longer answering questions here.)
    – user4032
    Sep 10, 2015 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


It may be 本命 (the one to win) and 当{あ}て馬{うま} (the one to lose). I didn't find it out until I read the comment.

  • Thank you. 当て馬 is definitely the word I heard at work ("we were used as stalking horse").
    – macraf
    Sep 12, 2015 at 13:52

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