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Quiz about Rat Race
Quiz about Rat Race

Rat Race Trivia Quiz


Racing fiddles, air rescues, attempted fraud, murder! "Rat Race" by the incomparable Dick Francis has all of these and more...even romance. Come with me on an overview of one of my favorite books.

A multiple-choice quiz by Catreona. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Catreona
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
373,752
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
9 / 15
Plays
431
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. As the novel opens, taxi pilot Matt Shore neither knows nor cares anything about horse racing. What happens during his run to Haydock race course that plants the first seeds of his interest? Hint

One of his passengers gives him a hot tip in the 3:30.
His passengers squabble about what he comes to realize is race fixing.
Thrilled that champion jockey Colin Ross is a passenger, he goes into the races to watch him ride.
Reading the copy of "Sporting Life" left in the plane, he becomes intrigued.

2. When a pretty girl comes to the plane to talk to him, Mat's flagging spirits rise. What are her first words? Hint

"All right, skunk, hand it over!
"You lousy bloody skunk!"
"Colin would have leant you a hundred quid. You didn't have to pinch it!"
"Where's Larry?"

3. Who does the pretty girl who comes to talk to Matt at Haydock race course turn out to be? Hint

Colin Ross's sister Midge
Colin Ross's sister Nancy
Fenella Payne-Percival
Annie Villars

4. What horse is Australian jockey Kenny Bayst riding in the 3:30 at Haydock, and why is this important for the story as a whole? Hint

Red Rum/Following a hot tip, Matt bets on him and wins handsomely.
Candlestick/There is no larger significance.
Rudaments/Unraveling the race fixing scheme involving him helps solve the larger mystery.
Clipclop/On a whim, Matt bets on him and loses heavily.

5. Nancy's hippy wannabe-boyfriend Chanter talks a good, anti-establishment story, though he is in fact employed. What does he do for a living? Hint

He is an insurance agent.
He is a policeman.
He teaches at an art school.
He supports himself by painting (that is, selling his work).

6. At Redcar races, Matt intervenes to keep Kenny Bayst from being crippled by a couple of thugs with big fists and heavy boots. Who are the thugs working for? Hint

Charles Carthy-Todd
Eric Goldenberg
Annie Villars
Colin Ross

7. Why does Colin invite Matt to come home with him when Matt delivers his passengers at Cambridge after Redcar races? Hint

Colin will be going back to an empty house and would like the company.
No reason is given.
Matt will be picking Colin up again the next morning, so it seems sensible.
Matt is feeling awful two hours on from the beating he took from Kenny's attackers.

8. A month after Matt's first flight to Haydock racecourse, he returns in the replacement Cherokee Six, while Nancy flies Colin for the first time in her rented Cherokee Four. Matt lands and unloads his passengers in time to watch Nancy land. He congratulates her and then walks into the races with her and Colin, leading the saboteur to think he flew their plane. What assumption does the saboteur base on this mistaken belief? Hint

Mat will be blamed for the sabotage.
Derrydown's rival Poly Plane Services will be blamed for the sabotage.
The saboteur doesn't care who is flying the plane.
The sabotage will do no real harm, since Mat can cope.

9. What is the reason for blowing up the original Derrydown Cherokee Six and for sabotaging Nancy and Collin's Cherokee Four? Hint

Attempts by Derrydown's rival Poly Plane Services to ruin Derry Down
Attempts on Collin's life.
For publicity to increase subscriptions to the Racegoers Accident Fund.
Mad, unrelated acts of sabotage.

10. Why is Maj. Tiderman murdered? Hint

The reason is never discovered.
To prevent him revealing the attempted fraud with the Racegoers Accident Fund.
He is killed in mistake for Colin.
To prevent him revealing the race fixing scheme.

11. The Duke of Wessex, owner of Rudiments and sponsor of the Racegoers Accident Fund, is described by Nancy as "sweet as they come" but "dreadfully dim", and by his own nephew, young Matthew, as not understanding about people. How does Matt feel about the Duke? Hint

He dislikes him and feels contemptuous towards him.
He is envious of his wealth.
He likes him but feels slightly contemptuous towards him.
He likes him and feels protective towards him.

12. Is Matt's life in danger at any point in the book?

Yes
No

13. When Matt solves the mystery of the attempted fraud with the Accident Fund as well as Maj. Tyderman's murder, what does the con artist cum murderer do? Hint

Tries to flee with the fund's takings to date.
Tries to kill the duke so as to collect 200,000 as per the covenants included in the fund's setup.
Is overcome by conscience and confesses everything to the Duke.
Takes Nancy and Midge hostage, threatening to kill them unless the Duke transfers 200,000 to him.

14. What happens to the con artist cum murderer? Hint

He meets a terrible end when he runs onto the racetrack at Warwick.
He escapes with the Accident Fund's takings only.
He accidentally blows himself up.
He escapes with the Accident Fund's takings and the Duke's 200,000.

15. True or false: The book ends with the certainty that Nancy will marry Chanter.

True
False


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. As the novel opens, taxi pilot Matt Shore neither knows nor cares anything about horse racing. What happens during his run to Haydock race course that plants the first seeds of his interest?

Answer: His passengers squabble about what he comes to realize is race fixing.

After all the arguing and ill feeling he has had to listen to throughout the flight, Matt becomes "mildly curious to see what would happen in the 3:30." So, when invited later, he goes in to the races, leaving the Cherokee locked but unattended.
2. When a pretty girl comes to the plane to talk to him, Mat's flagging spirits rise. What are her first words?

Answer: "You lousy bloody skunk!"

Matt's resigned comment, "It really was one of those days", ends the chapter. The next chapter begins with the girl's embarrassed realization that she had the wrong man. She apologizes and, after this inauspicious beginning, the relationship proceeds quite satisfactorily.

It turns out that she thought Matt was Derrydown Sky Taxis' previous full time pilot,Larry Gedge, who stole a hundred pounds from her and then absconded to Turkey - richly deserving to be called a lousy skunk in your humble quiz maker's opinion.
3. Who does the pretty girl who comes to talk to Matt at Haydock race course turn out to be?

Answer: Colin Ross's sister Nancy

Midge is Nancy's twin sister. Fennella, aka Fenella Pain-in-the-neck, is Colin's would-be girlfriend, whom we meet later in the book.

Annie Villars is a trainer and one of Matt's passengers. She becomes a regular along with jockeys Collin Ross and Kenny Bayst. At one point she gives Matt information that helps him solve a minor puzzle and, eventually, gives him insight into the main mystery.
4. What horse is Australian jockey Kenny Bayst riding in the 3:30 at Haydock, and why is this important for the story as a whole?

Answer: Rudaments/Unraveling the race fixing scheme involving him helps solve the larger mystery.

Candlestick is mentioned in passing later on. Curiously, a horse named Candlestick is also mentioned in Francis' 2007 thriller "Under Orders".
Clipclop appears in 2006's "Bonecrack".

Red Rum is a real life horse, albeit of legendary status, whose achievement of winning the Grand National three times, in 1973, 1974 and 1977, has never been equaled. He came in second in 1975 and 1976.
5. Nancy's hippy wannabe-boyfriend Chanter talks a good, anti-establishment story, though he is in fact employed. What does he do for a living?

Answer: He teaches at an art school.

Though Chanter describes himself as the fuzz (a term which to this American translates as police), Matt understands that he is a teacher. When Matt asks if he ever sells his work, Chanter just gives him a baleful stare. At one point, when the subject of insurance comes up in conversation, Chanter declares it to be immoral.
6. At Redcar races, Matt intervenes to keep Kenny Bayst from being crippled by a couple of thugs with big fists and heavy boots. Who are the thugs working for?

Answer: Eric Goldenberg

Carthy-Todd has nothing to do with the attack, since it springs from the race fixing scheme with which he is not connected. It is unclear whether Maj. Tyderman knows in advance about the attack, though he seems just as angry with Kenny as Goldenberg. Though Annie claims Kenny must have deserved the beating, Matt can see she doesn't like the idea at all. Colin is concerned about Kenny and even more about Matt who, after all, still has to fly them all home.
7. Why does Colin invite Matt to come home with him when Matt delivers his passengers at Cambridge after Redcar races?

Answer: Matt is feeling awful two hours on from the beating he took from Kenny's attackers.

In fact, Colin's sisters Midge and Nancy are there, and Matt feels at home at once.
8. A month after Matt's first flight to Haydock racecourse, he returns in the replacement Cherokee Six, while Nancy flies Colin for the first time in her rented Cherokee Four. Matt lands and unloads his passengers in time to watch Nancy land. He congratulates her and then walks into the races with her and Colin, leading the saboteur to think he flew their plane. What assumption does the saboteur base on this mistaken belief?

Answer: The sabotage will do no real harm, since Mat can cope.

When Matt runs into the saboteur by chance after Nancy has taken off, the saboteur is horrified, showing that he is not heartless and evil, not a murderer.
9. What is the reason for blowing up the original Derrydown Cherokee Six and for sabotaging Nancy and Collin's Cherokee Four?

Answer: For publicity to increase subscriptions to the Racegoers Accident Fund.

Only nonclaiming incidents like the blowing up of the unoccupied Derrydown Cherokee are useful to the planner of the fraud with the fund. In the event, the sabotage of Nancy and Colin's plane works out better from his point of view than he could have dared hope for.
10. Why is Maj. Tiderman murdered?

Answer: To prevent him revealing the attempted fraud with the Racegoers Accident Fund.

We don't see the Major again after the Cherokee Four is sabotaged, but we know the danger to Nancy and Colin distresses him. We can only speculate that he told the con artist cum murderer that he wanted out of the whole mess. In any case, it's pretty certain he was killed to silence him.
11. The Duke of Wessex, owner of Rudiments and sponsor of the Racegoers Accident Fund, is described by Nancy as "sweet as they come" but "dreadfully dim", and by his own nephew, young Matthew, as not understanding about people. How does Matt feel about the Duke?

Answer: He likes him and feels protective towards him.

Matt's actions, attitudes and comments, as well as most people's reaction to him, show him to be an insightful and sensitive man. His instinctive outrage and protectiveness on discovering just how the Duke is to be victimized while being made the scapegoat for the intended fraud with the Accident Fund is a case in point.

He observes, "One couldn't help feeling protective. One couldn't help wanting to stop it."
12. Is Matt's life in danger at any point in the book?

Answer: Yes

The murderer of Maj. Tyderman tries to kill Matt by the same means and for the same reason. Matt survives, though he is badly injured. Once the attacker leaves, Matt sets off bravely, if rather dizzily, to warn the murderer's next intended victim of his danger.
13. When Matt solves the mystery of the attempted fraud with the Accident Fund as well as Maj. Tyderman's murder, what does the con artist cum murderer do?

Answer: Tries to kill the duke so as to collect 200,000 as per the covenants included in the fund's setup.

Though he is the brains of the operation, the con artist cum murderer is less dexterous than the saboteur. Also, he suffers from overconfidence. He didn't wait to make sure Matt was dead before charging off to kill his next victim. The combination proves his undoing.
14. What happens to the con artist cum murderer?

Answer: He meets a terrible end when he runs onto the racetrack at Warwick.

Dick Francis is old fashioned, and quite right in this quiz maker's opinion. Like Hercule Poirot, Mr. Francis does not approve of murder. Though his heroes may not always get an unambiguously happy ending, his villains always get their comeuppance in the end. In this case, it is rather a dreadful one, but no less deserved for that.
15. True or false: The book ends with the certainty that Nancy will marry Chanter.

Answer: False

At the end of the book, it's a pretty sure thing that Nancy will marry Matt. The exact words are:

"Nancy," I said. "Will you...will you..."

"You nit," she said. "You great nit."
Source: Author Catreona

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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