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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."

26 August 2016

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Ryan Moore returns with a winner at Newmarket
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Charlie Appleby backs Grecian Light to shine in Prestige Stakes at Goodwood
Charlie Appleby wary of more rain for Curragh-bound Skiffle
Charlie Appleby wary of more rain for Curragh-bound Skiffle
Charlie Appleby to chart Newmarket route with classy Blue Point
Marco Botti hopeful of big Naadirr run at Newmarket
Ulysses and Foundation ready for action in Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor
Celebration Mile at Goodwood the 'logical' target for Thikriyaat
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Adam McNamara keeps up Ebor momentum with Leicester win
Sylvester Kirk aiming high with Solario runner-up Salouen
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Awtaad aiming to bounce back in Boomerang outing
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25 August 2016

Thikriyaat heads Celebration quintet
Newmarket uphill gallops plan announced by Jockey Club Estates
Harry Dunlop issues Robin Of Navan St Leger advisory
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Martin Keighley to learn fate over Any Currency substance test
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Creggs Pipes takes Fairy Bridge test at Tipperary
Ryan Moore to return with Newmarket mount on Friday
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24 August 2016

Conqueress rules at Lingfield for Tom Dascombe and Deva Racing
Amy Murphy set to join training ranks
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Michael Dods expecting Easton Angel to blossom in 2017
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Jim Crowley keeps up title-chase momentum
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Jonathan Portman holds fire with Mrs Danvers
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Classic heroine La Cressonniere enhances Arc claims at Deauville
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Dancing Star connections consider Haydock riding options
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23 August 2016

Hit The Bid set to wait for Newbury
Skiffle heads Snow Fairy contenders at the Curragh
Adam Brickell to leave British Horseracing Authority
Champagne date possible for York victor Rivet
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32Red unveiled as new sponsor of Sprint Cup at Haydock
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Irish ace Maarek in line for Bullet defence at Beverley
Ken Condon hoping for 'more to come' from Success Days
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South Seas likely to chart course to Dewhurst
Prix de l'Abbaye the main goal for Michael Dods and York heroine Mecca's Angel
Curragh or Doncaster on the table for Clever Cookie after 'flat' York run
Kieren Fallon 'doing great' and riding out in Newmarket

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