THE story of Trev’s Perfection is one of the most romantic in the history of greyhound racing. A handsome brindle whelped in April 1944 by Trev’s Dispatch out of a Beef Cutlet bitch, the curiously named Friar Tuck was to become one of the greatest greyhounds in the history of the sport after a change of name and ownership.
He was bred and reared in the keen air of the Cumberland Fells by Mr H.G. Nunn, who named him Highland Perfection and from whom he was purchased, when ready to race, by Nora Roth. During 1946 he won a number of open races for her under the name of Mott’s Regret. Indeed, in June of that year, he was entered for the Derby at White City (as Mott’s Regret) and, a 50-1 outsider in his heat (8) of round one, was well beaten into fourth and out of the event.
ater that year, Trev’s Perfection went down with distemper and pneumonia at the GRA kennels in Northaw and it was thought he would die.
Somehow he pulled through and, after a long convalescence, he made it back to the track and reached the final of the Wandsworth Spring Stakes where he finished second to Balmaha, Ballynennan Moon’s last son.
Later that month he was beaten eight lengths by Izadaisy in a race of 500yds and gave little insight as to his capabilities. One person, however, must have been impressed him and that was Fred Trevillion, a haulage contractor from Dartford in Kent, who was a licensed greyhound trainer with a number of good dogs in his kennels, each of whom carried the Trev prefix.
The price he paid for Mott’s Regret was £900, which many considered a huge sum for so mediocre a performer. However, within six months, the dog’s new owner is on record as saying that: “It was the best £900 worth I ever had,” and indeed it was. The dog was then three years old and his name was changed yet again, this time to Trev’s Perfection. Even at that stage, without ever having won a race in eighteen months – and many thought perhaps he never would – Fred Trevillion must have seen something special in the dog that others did not, to have given him this new name. It soon proved well chosen.
His first big race for his new owner/trainer was on 22 March 1947 at White City when he beat Parish Model by one and a half lengths. He was next at Walthamstow for the Circuit, which he won in 28.80sec, a fast time for a dog who was only a few weeks over serious illness, and his form so far must have impressed all that had seen him in action.
Then, early in June 1947, he contested the Gold Collar at Catford. After winning his heat, he was beaten by Monday’s News in his semi with the winner setting a new track record. Trev’s Perfection saved his best for the final, though, winning by three lengths in 25.52sec to give his owner/trainer his first Classic success. It was the start of a series of triumphs the like of which had never been seen before.
From Catford, the dog took on the crack greyhounds of England and Ireland lined up at White City for the Derby, in which he produced some devastating form.
He won his heat by five lengths from Mad Midnight in 29.50sec and his semi by three lengths from Slaney Record in 29.30sec, to qualify for the final in which he was the only English-bred greyhound. This, too, he won by two lengths from his great rival Monday’s News, winner the previous year, in the fastest time yet recorded for the event, 28.95sec.
It was the first time 29sec had been broken in the Derby final. It was also the first time the Derby had been won from trap two and he earned £1,400 for his owner. The following week Trev’s Perfection went to Glasgow for the Scottish Derby at Carntyne and again beat Monday’s News by a head in his heat in 29.10sec; he won the final by three lengths from two outstanding dogs, Dante II and Monday’s News, in 29.25sec. In one week he had won £2,000 and had earned £600 for his Gold Collar win the previous week.
The following week he accomplished what no greyhound had ever done before by winning the Welsh Derby to achieve the grand slam, the triple crown.
Winning his heat, he went on to win the final by two lengths from Spring Ruler in 29.74sec, which brought his earnings in seven months of 1947 to £3,500, and in total he earned more than £4,000 in that year. After his defeat by Monday’s News in his Gold Collar semi he went unbeaten until he retired to stud at the end of that year. He had won every race for his new owner except that semi-final and the final of the Private Trainers’ Championship at Coventry. The dog owed his success to his devastating speed from the traps and for his courage and track craft. As the Scottish and Welsh Derbys were later given Classic status, it could be suggested that Trev’s Perfection had won four Classics in successive races he contested, which was and remains an all-time record.
On 1 April 1948 Fred Trevillion, his head kennel-man Arthur Hancock and Trev’s Perfection left on the Queen Mary for the USA where the dog was expected to make new headlines. They were accompanied by three other dogs, Trev’s Key, Trev’s Harlequin and Trev’s Harvest, each attired in a handsome coat bearing the Union Jack emblem, and their destination was Raynham Park, Boston, Massachusetts.
But after his many successes in England, Fred Trevillion’s departure for America was a step he was much to regret, for the dog was a comparative failure and in five races did not win one. Fred Trevellion returned home early in July and, after the great dog’s death several years later, Trevillion returned to the USA to try his luck as a trainer but died there greatly disillusioned. Yet he will forever be remembered as a great trainer of a great greyhound.