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BAPP Group of Companies Scurry Cup - Belle Vue 260m - £2,500

 

TROY BELLA helped his trainer David Mullins emulate his mother Linda’s achievement 18 years ago when winning the BAPP Group of Companies Scurry Cup Final - one of the sport’s traditional Classics - at Belle Vue on Saturday.

 

El Boss won for Linda Mullins at Catford in 2000 and, for her son, victory in the 260m annual - first run at Clapton before moving to Slough, then Catford, Perry Barr and now Belle Vue - has more importance than its current Category Two status.

 

“I think if you're been in the game for only a few years, you’d think it was just another £2,500 competition, but it’s more than that,” said the Romford handler. “It’s the sprinters’ Classic, one of the great traditional races, and we’re delighted to have won it.”

 

Mullins had unfinished business where the Scurry is concerned having originally trained Brogan Tee Bone before the 2015 Scurry Cup winner switched to Hayley Keightley’s kennel ahead of his success in the Manchester event.

 

“Thankfully I’ve always got on with Mark and Hayley - it was the owner’s decision - so I suppose it’s ironic we’ve ended up beating Roxholme Hat, but in my eyes he’s a champion and has proved the best around for a good while now. We just got it right on the night.”

 

In Saturday’s final, a fast start from Troy Bella outside soon put pressure on his rivals as the February 2016 son of Tyrur Big Mike and Fire Height Brid, a brother of Irish Produce Stakes victor Cash Is King, always held sway to beat the defending champion by a length and a half in a fast 15.07sec (+10).

 

Owned by Mick Gollogly, who bought the dog as a pup, Troy Bella started his career at the top - in A1s at Romford - and has helped continue a long association between the owner and trainer stretching back almost 30 years.

 

“Mick’s from the north and had dogs with me when I trained at Sunderland in the 1990s,” added Mullins. “Over the years he's had dogs with me every so often, so I’m delighted for him and it was great to see him on Saturday. They enjoyed the night!”

 

Of near 38-kilo Troy Bella, Mullins admitted to being surprised by his precocious pace as a pup. “He wasn't quite getting home over 400m, so I just entered him in a sprint open. To be honest I didn’t realise how young he was! But it didn’t do him any harm.”

 

Wins in sprint opens at Romford and Notts - including minor competition success at the Colwick Park venue plus a Silver Salver third at Central Park to Roxholme Hat - has helped Troy Bella to an impressive 17 wins from 35 races and the National Sprint at Nottingham is a long-term target.

 

The BAPP Group of Companies Northern Flat Final shared centre-stage with the Scurry Cup decider and the two-run £1,000-to-the-winner annual went to Doncaster-based owner-trainer Lee Field’s Fernhill Rex.

 

The October 15 son of Iso Octane and Fernhill Jess trapped well, paced up to lead at the bend and made all thereafter, following up his heat win, as he crossed the line to win in a slick 27.56sec (+10) for the 470m trip.