TO finish runner-up in three classics in three successive years must stamp Shove Ha’penny as one of the unluckiest dogs ever to race but, in most instances, it was entirely his own doing! No greyhound found himself in more trouble and he had to extricate himself from bother with great courage and determination, which happened in almost every final he contested.
A grandson of Mutton Cutlet, his sire was Town Treasure and he was whelped in 1932, so that when he ran up to Wattle Bark in the 1937 Derby he was a five-year-old.
In his first important race, the Pall Mall at Harringay, Shove Ha’penny produced a magnificent performance, for after winning his heats, he defeated the dog who was to become his great rival, Grand Flight II, in the final by a head after being baulked on the first bend.
In the 1935 Cesarewitch, however, the order was reversed, although Shove Ha’penny had again won every round and had broken the track record in doing so. Made favourite for the final, he was beaten by a dog who could not match him for speed yet possessed greater track craft. The next year he won the Wood Lane Stakes at White City, the West Ham Spring Cup, and the Daily Mirror Championship, beating some outstanding greyhounds in doing so.
In the 1936 St Leger he was again beaten into second, this time by his kennelmate, Ataxy, and did not reach the Derby final even though he was expected to win it. He was still going as strong as ever in 1937 and reached the Derby final. Drawn in trap one and made 6-4 favourite, he was beaten into second by Wattle Bark whom, in normal circumstances, he would have beaten nine times out of ten. The time of 29.26sec was then a national and track record, and he lost by just over a length, which gives some idea of the speed he possessed in those long gone days.