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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."

19 August 2014

Toast ride relinquished by Spencer
Blue is the colour for McCreery
Hill in peak form for Voltigeur
Certain claims clear-cut success
Prince aiming for Acomb glory
Champagne target for Belardo
Telescope team eye Group One glory
Australia camp expect trip to suit
Duke aiming for York reign
Anthem takes Lowther test
Tag tops Oaks field
Matron on Thawaany agenda
Halford anticipates Tosc boost
No hurry for Panama plan
Millman plots weekend Celebration
Overbury role for Dunaden
O'Brien calls on two for Oaks
Newmarket entry for Abandon
O'Brien has some Australia concerns
Pale Mimosa at Ebor summit
Baitha remains in Gimcrack hunt
Anodin fired up for Foret
Moore given Hill role in Voltigeur

18 August 2014

Fallon back on Tuesday
Celebration time at Goodwood
Wonder to return to top table
Maximilian in Flying form
Nonette is Maid to measure
International call-up for Australia
Leger dream over for Elite Army
Angel is heaven sent for Tregoning
Memory saved for Doncaster
Panama makes it five on bounce
Hanagan back in business
O'Brien states Australia intention
Kingman powers to Marois glory
Tupi moved up in Boutin
Hawkesbury lame after defeat
Barron hoping for Knavesmire rain
Irish Champion go-ahead for Amralah
Wow factored into Morny picture

17 August 2014

Kingman green light for Marois
Flemenstar on road to recovery
York poser for Fellowes and Hill
Kenny 'much brighter' after fall
No rush on Spring plans
Magician second in Million
Olympic aims for Deauville glory
Kenny assessed after Flat fall
Lynch on mark at Doncaster
Estimate given Lonsdale option
Breton rocks in Newbury thriller
Do delivers in St Wilfrid
Dunlop delight over Cadeaux
Belardo takes step up ladder
Flippant strikes for Alison
Power tops Nunthorpe possibles

16 August 2014

Kingman decision still on hold
Fanshawe seeks Approval rating
Charline set for Botti swansong
Avenger returns at York
Hanagan not daunted by Australia
Bronze grabs gold for Moore
Ground rules out Es Que Love
Gosden ground concerns for Kingman
Hymn only fourth in France
Chapple-Hyam going International
Magician out to conjure up Million
Varian takes Glance at Lowther
Taghrooda tops nine in Oaks

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