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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."

28 January 2015

Musselburgh bids to beat weather
Legend in line for Kempton repeat
Henderson at Peace for Triumph
Henderson primes Betfair squad
Henderson happy with Sprinter
Charities get O'Sullevan boost
Unioniste set for Newbury outing
Betway boosts sponsorship portfolio
Bolger left in awe of super Sceaux
Estrella waits on record bid
Sam set for Gold run
Spring not on Focus agenda
Warne on comeback trail
Warne on comeback trail
Denman date for Obeaux
Mann planning Bleu National prep
Henderson dealt Triolo blow
Tornado blows hot at Taunton
Mann duo head to Musselburgh
Ginge given Scilly date
Cue Card goes back to basics
Eagle ready for hurdling bow
Shark angling for Punchestown prize
Nicholls retains Zarkandar faith
Ruby handed World ticket

27 January 2015

No worries at Wetherby
Fry issue Puzzle warning
Grimthorpe goal for Milan
Ellison duo primed for Supreme test
Mulholland maps out Festival plans
Master retains Festival options
Doubt team seek jumping improvement
Dettori possible for National role
Uttoxeter bid appeals for Murphy
Ryanair defence likely for Dynaste
Palace stars in Towton fifteen
Gilgamboa set for longer trip
Jezki 'fine' after Hurricane defeat
Sire satisfies in schooling session
Sceaux leaves Mullins purring
Faugheen fancied for Walsh mount

26 January 2015

Aintree on the agenda for Concerto
Light camp cool on Newbury raid
Zarib earmarked as Winter warmer
Lingfield washed away
Lingfield washed away
'Awesome' Sceaux in Arkle romp
Mullins lands the treble
Super Fly proves Champion again
Concerto plans hinge on scan
Sherwood - More to come from Clouds
Skelton nominates Bartlett for Risk
Bridgwater thrilled with Bolster
Foxrock given Hennessy green light
Meade gives Monksland World aim

25 January 2015

Sceaux much to admire in Arkle
Sceaux much to admire in Arkle
Williams weighing up Tea options
Lingfield jumps card under threat
Saphir sparkles in Cleeve
Chao springs Neptune surprise
Donny glory never In Doubt
Tango hot to trot at Donny
Apache claims Blaklion scalp
Day disappointment as Anna shines
Clouds claims Cup glory
McCoy rules on Kingdoms
Peace takes Triumph Trial

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