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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Spifer shines for BottiHeadlines
Spifer (right) grabs the prize

Spifer's victory in the feature handicap at Kempton is unlikely to rank highly in Marco Botti's career achievements, but he was still grateful the prize was on offer at all.

It was a minor surprise to see one of the rising stars of the sport braving the snow for the only British meeting left on Saturday, and he could have more rewarding days yet with a horse who arrived at his yard with a dubious reputation.

With all but the strip of Polytrack covered by a white blanket, it was rather appropriate to see an all-grey finish to the William Hill iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini Handicap as Spifer (9-2) held Greylami by a short head, with Noble Silk just half a length behind in third.

When in the hands of Newmarket's other Italian-born trainer, Luca Cumani, Spifer had shown plenty of potential, but threw away several winning opportunities by ducking to the left, and this was his first taste of victory since shedding his maiden tag in the spring of 2011.

Andrea Atzeni rode him cautiously behind a sedate pace carved out by Aquilonius, sneaking into the lead up the inside with a furlong remaining.

"This is enjoyable," said Botti with a chuckle. "The snow hasn't been too much of a problem in Newmarket and we've been able to work as normal."

Of Spifer, he said: "We learned a lot from his second run for us and I told Andrea to take his time. I think he won with a bit left in hand, and he was never going to win by far. There are a few more class two and three handicaps on the all-weather so I would think we will keep him going."

John Bridger reported difficulties with the weather at his Liphook base, but at least he was able to use Willy Twiston-Davies, who had been booked for the abandoned meeting at Lingfield but diverted to replace Sean Levey on Welsh Inlet (5-1) to land the William Hill No.1 Downloaded Betting App Handicap.

The trainer said: "I rang them three times to see if it was on today as we're quite high up and I was worried about driving through the lanes. Willy normally rides her and his 5lb claim is a big help. The surface is riding slower and I think it helped her as she won on the soft at Brighton in the summer.

"I have her in here tomorrow as well. I probably won't run her, but I'll see how she is."

3 May 2016

Trainers and jockeys praise Newcastle all-weather surface following trials
Appeal success for Robbie Colgan and David Broad over Ballinrobe bans
Aidan O'Brien dominates Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial entries at Leopardstown
Irish 2,000 Guineas confirmed as target for Blue De Vega
Injured Tommy Dowling recuperating after operation
Andre Fabre unveils Royal Ascot ambition for classy Usherette
Andre Fabre resists Royal Ascot raid with French ace Vadamos
Somehow strives to earn Aidan O'Brien Oaks call-up at Chester
Lingfield Saturday card in limbo
Roger Varian marvels at Steve Rogers Chester Cup claims
Owen Burrows leaning towards York mission with Muntazah
Derby hope US Army Ranger declared for Chester Vase by Aidan O'Brien
Gabrial's King and Venue step off reserves bench for Chester Cup
Mark Johnston duo Lumiere and Buratino to drop in distance
Dante D-Day at York for John Gosden and Foundation
Robin Of Navan set to swerve Lingfield trial for France
Aidan O'Brien - US Army Ranger will learn plenty at Chester
Found finds magic touch for Mooresbridge Stakes success
Derby tilt not ruled out for Guineas runner-up Massaat
Awtaad too good for Blue De Vega in Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh
Aidan O'Brien - Classic trials likely to be key to Minding plans
Steve Rogers drawn stall three in Chester Cup for Roger Varian
Somehow bids to continue Aidan O'Brien dominance in Cheshire Oaks
Aidan O'Brien ponders Irish 2,000 Guineas run for vanquished Air Force Blue

2 May 2016

Drama at Bath as horses narrowly avoid two people on track
Bryan Smart reveals Dante option at York for Kentuckyconnection
Australian ace Chautauqua to duck Royal Ascot
Prix Ganay glory for Dariyan and Alain de Royer-Dupre
Swiss Range speeds to Pretty Polly success for Frankie Dettori and John Gosden
Minding all business for 1000 Guineas glory at Newmarket
Oasis Fantasy returns to winning ways at Newmarket
Usherette on top for Andre Fabre and France in Dahlia Stakes
John Gosden happy with Crazy Horse and Royal Artillery after Newmarket gallop
Fascinating Rock and Found clash in Mooresbridge showdown at the Curragh
'No obvious cause' for Jack Hobbs Newmarket flop - Godolphin
Hugo Palmer to delay Derby call with Guineas star Galileo Gold

1 May 2016

Kevin Prendergast puts Awtaad on Classic trial in Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh
'Incredible' Maurice rules in Champions Mile at Sha Tin
Roger Varian backs Belardo to bounce back at Newbury
Roger Varian has Intilaaq in 'great shape' for Sandown mission
Warren Greatrex aims high with Punchestown hero One Track Mind
Iain Jardine considers Haydock heat for 'improving' Shrewd
National hero Pineau De Re bows out at Uttoxeter
Whiteout holds Limini for surprise Punchestown victory
Galileo strikes Guineas gold for Frankie Dettori and Hugo Palmer
Exosphere sparkles as Jack Hobbs is pulled up in Jockey Club Stakes
US Army Ranger leads Aidan O'Brien entries in Chester Vase
Knight Owl swoops for James Fanshawe at Newmarket
Profitable lives up to his name with Palace House triumph at Newmarket
Covert Love to miss Middleton Stakes at York
David Elsworth has Arabian Queen in bloom for Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket

30 April 2016

Tommy Dowling suffers multiple injuries in Fontwell fall
Eddie Lynam and Sole Power charged up for Newmarket House raid
Eddie Lynam and Sole Power charged up for Newmarket House raid
Marcel set to feel the Force in 2000 Guineas
Fringe a cut above at Punchestown once more
Gavin Cromwell joy as Jer's Girl has the power at Punchestown
Vroum Vroum Mag hits top gear at Punchestown for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh
Minding out to master 1000 Guineas rivals at Newmarket
Classic 'acid test' looms for 2000 Guineas favourite Air Force Blue
Limini sights set on Mares Champion prize at Punchestown
Jack Hobbs returns in 'proper' Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket

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