Dave Mullins hit the bar in one £500 final, but scored in the other at Nottingham on Monday night.
The Romford attached handler saw his Piemans Bullet go clear before being caught in the last stride by Sandra Ralph’s Monmore raider Droopys Aussie (Loughteen Blanco – Droopys Force Sept 15) in the Standard Trophy Final (500m), the winner clocking 29.88 on a +50 fast track.
Mullins enjoyed better luck when his in-form pup Troy Bella (Tyrur Big Mike – Fire Height Brid Feb 16) came again to snatch the Stadium Bookmakers Sprint Final by a head from Fortunate Star in 17.70 (+20), almost a repeat of their heat seven days earlier when just a short head separated them.
That makes it five in a row for Troy Bella, who is owned by Middlesbrough based Mick Gollogly, an owner with Mullins since his days at Sunderland.
“I’ve trained dogs for Mick for 25 years now, he has the Troy prefix and sent Bella down to me. He’s a strong pup who despite momentarily losing his position off the second bend at Nottingham, has battled back well to win. He’ll return to Romford for a sprint on Friday, where he’s three from three over a trip that has really been the making of him” said Mullins.
The Stadium Bookmakers Oaks Trophy Div 1 saw good heat wins in the identical time of 29.76 (+50) for Kevin Hutton’s Puppy Classic finalist Madabout Maggie, (five from six now at Nottingham), and Ballydoyle Maura, beaten favourite in Belle Vue’s Oaks final but soon dictating matters in this company.
The latter’s win initiated a double for Hayley Keightley, whose Scurry champ Roxholme Hat, a nomination for Sprinter of the Year at the GBGB Awards later this month, took the Betfred Sprint Trophy in 17.75 (+20) his first race for almost a month.
Oaks Trophy Div 2 heats went to Barry Denby’s local Artistic Dawn (29.89) and Dave Pruhs’ Pollys Pim in 30.07 (both +40).
Over at Doncaster, the stand out feature from just three opens was a 16-1 double for John “Scotchie” Brown. The Shawfield attached trainer, who with assistant Roy Brown famously landed a dramatic Scottish Derby victory in 2016 with 25-1 shot Hot Pipe, introduced newcomer Billys Ace. The Tyrur Big Mike – Sive Dubh Jan 16 dog obliged in 30.23 (-50) over 483m. Dunluce Road completed the double, also on his first look at Donny, in the 450. Hot favourite Lightfoot King found trouble in the other 483 won by local bitch Tricky Bluebell.