Grizzles the Result Rooster may be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Paul the Octopus but his owner "wouldn't bet the house on it".

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall has recruited his rooster Grizzles to predict the winner of matches in the football World Cup which started on Friday in Russia.

Animals have been used before in such roles, the most famous being Paul the Octopus who rose to worldwide fame in 2010 for correctly predicting the result of each of Germany's World Cup matches that year.

McDouall gave Grizzles a test run ahead of last week's All Blacks test, the rooster picking France, before he backed Saudi Arabia to beat Russia in Friday's opening game.

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They lost 5-0.

"So his record isn't good so far, 100 per cent wrong," McDouall said.

With food placed under the flags of football teams Grizzles indicates his pick by which tray he goes to.

"He properly assessed both flags probably trying to work out what he knows about each team. He was cautious and he wasn't going to be committal. I certainly wouldn't bet the house on it."

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall is putting faith in his rooster to pick World Cup results.
Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall is putting faith in his rooster to pick World Cup results.

Grizzles made his picks on Friday for the four games played early Saturday morning.

"Uruguay and Iran are clear favourites," McDouall said.

"The result of Spain and Portugal was odd. All the hens went for Portugal but Grizzles has one peck for Portugal then shifted to Spain hungrily.

"As for France, Grizzles contemptuously wandered off refusing to even contemplate France not winning. Le Coq clearly clouding his judgement."

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McDouall said even though Grizzles was a "spring chicken - he's not even a year old so this is his first World Cup" - he knew football.

"He's seen a lot of football up and down the side of his lawn at home.

"He's been cheering early in the morning for what sounds like Costa Rica, but I'm sure that won't affect his selections."

McDouall, a big football fan himself, has backed Brazil, Argentina or Germany as Cup winners.

"I think those three will make up the final unless someone gets a really good run.

"I'd like to see [Argentinian playmaker Lionel] Messi crown his career because he really is the best player I've seen in my lifetime."