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."
27 February 2017Bryan Cooper expecting star trio to shine again at Cheltenham
Double Shuffle handed Grand National aim by Tom George
Plumpton gets the go-ahead following inspection
Thistlecrack set for further scan on Tuesday
Injured Barry Geraghty to miss Cheltenham Festival after Kempton fall
Forge Meadow firmly in Cheltenham picture after Naas success
Henry de Bromhead readying three-pronged challenge to Altior
Camping Ground leads National Spirit field a merry dance at Fontwell
Tombstone to be supplemented for Champion Hurdle
George Baker awake in hospital after horror fall in Switzerland
Alan King outlines Cheltenham Festival plans
Blow for Neil King as Lil Rockerfeller ruled out of National Spirit Hurdle
26 February 2017Nicky Henderson eager to have Barry Geraghty back for Cheltenham
George Baker in intensive care in Switzerland after St Moritz fall
Dermot McLoughlin to keep Vics Canvas fresh for Grand National
George Baker airlifted to hospital after St Moritz fall
Peter Fahey has Coral Cup preference for Peregrine Run
Sidelined Barry Geraghty faces fitness race but 'hopeful' of making Cheltenham
Trip proves no barrier to success for Winter Derby hero Convey
Mysteree solved for Michael Scudamore in Eider Chase
Another Bobbyjo success for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh
River Wylde gives Nicky Henderson something to cheer at Kempton
Frodon finds plenty to land Pendil for Paul Nicholls
This means so much - ice-cool James Best bags big Kempton prize on Pilgrims Bay
Alan King seeking Yanworth improvement for Champion Hurdle
Charli Parcs crashes out as Master Blueyes takes Adonis honours at Kempton
25 February 2017Famous success for one-time Derby contender Chopin in Qatar
Dinaria Des Obeaux gets Fairyhouse verdict in stewards' room
Barry Geraghty taken for checks after Kempton fall
Phil Tufnell leads British challenge for BetBright Cup at Cheltenham
Rich Ricci considering Cheltenham options with Limini and Vroum Vroum Mag
Nicky Henderson delighted as Brain Power leads Kempton workout
Neil King has Lil Rockerfeller 'back on good terms' for National Spirit defence
Injury woe for Danny Sheehy after Dundalk fall
Wayne Hutchinson sidelined after Exeter fall
Michael Scudamore celebrates birthday with Devon National success
Limato pencilled in for Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan
Guineas hero Galileo Gold thriving with Lockinge return planned
Toast Of New York being assessed with return to racing in mind
Thierry Jarnet, rider of Treve, announces retirement from the saddle
Alan King vies to reign supreme with Elgin in Dovecote at Kempton
Portrait King and Milborough back for more in Eider at Newcastle
Exciting Charli Parcs takes Adonis test with Cheltenham target up for debate
Tom George strives for more Kempton glory with Double Shuffle
24 February 2017Sovereign Debt hangs on to foil Cougar Mountain for big win in Qatar
Betfred boss Fred Done to pay out prize-money in Chelmsford void race
Arab Spring bidding to keep Frankie Dettori in winter wonderland
Ross O'Sullivan has Baie Des Iles in good order for Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse
Landofhopeandglory flies the flag at Fairyhouse for Joseph O'Brien
Martin Dwyer keen to ride at Aintree in memory of late father
Willie Mullins to consider Champion Hurdle assault with Limini
Winter Derby at Lingfield a 'good starting point' for classy Mutakayyef
Beautiful Romance books Dubai World Cup night ticket
Race declared void on dramatic day at stormy Chelmsford
Colin Tizzard 'favouring' Neptune challenge at Cheltenham for Finian's Oscar
Tin Soldier battles to Michael Purcell success at Thurles
Tried and tested routine the order of the day for Cue Card and Native River
Colin Tizzard - Thistlecrack injury hit me for six
Storm Doris claims Huntingdon card
McPherson anticipating bold Bartlett bid from Ami Desbois
Annacotty leads 13 contenders for BetBright Chase glory