"A PROPER filly" - the undiluted praise of Richard Hannon after Happy Romance captured Salisbury's main juvenile fillies race of the season today.

Though the six furlong Dick Poole Stakes was run in gloomy drizzle, her class stood out like a beacon as she produced a devastating turn of foot to land her third valuable race.

The highly progressive filly, who had won lucrative sales races at Newbury and York, is regarded as classic material by Hannon.

"Why not?" Hannon asserted responding to a question whether she is a potential candidate for next year's 1,000 Guineas. "She's so relaxed. She has been amazing all year and done this very well. I thought she might have got to the front too soon as she picked up so well."

Happy Romance had been taken out of race at Goodwood amid fears about soft ground but Hannon never contemplated withdrawing her this afternoon. The Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket next month will be her final objective of the season.

Hannon has quality two-year-olds in abundance and though Longlai wouldn't feature amongst the elite, the step up to a mile enabled him to thwart northern raider Golden Flame in the novice stakes, the pair drawing well clear in the final furlong.

Hannon believes he will make into a useful middle distance individual next year. "He's still a little weak but finished the race off nicely."

Much of the pre-race interest was centred on John Gosden's 1,000,000 guinea purchase Mahomes who hardly looked money well spent. Slowly away, Oisin Murphy had the debutant soon tucked away in midfield but he could never get on terms with the principals, tamely dropping away to finish second last.

In a week when pupils returned to full time education, it was the first day of school for many colts and fillies and none displayed more ability than Lady Hayes who passed her first exam in the seven furlong maiden.

The 280,000 guinea purchase naturally showed inexperience when Jack Mitchell brought her to challenge Light Refrain who looked as though she had poached an unassailable lead, momentarily hanging in behind the Queen's runner before Mitchell managed to straight her inside the final furlong to score by a length with Noon Star running on well into third, albeit five and a half lengths adrift.

Mitchell, who rode his first four timer at the course's meeting this year, says she will be seen to better advantage on her next outing.

"She's a good moving filly who does better with give in the ground. I think she will be sharper next time. She gave me a nice feel. She's not the biggest of fillies but her dam Kodiak grew stronger."

Anyone on the lookout for a jumper? Then Wightman might be what you are looking for. Mick Channon's assistant trainer son Jack placed the advert after he had bolted up by five and a half lengths under George Bass in the second division of the apprentice race.

"He has the size and scope," said Channon of the three-year-old who has suffered a series of setbacks. "But it wasn't the best of races. George gave him a straightforward ride and I just hope the handicapper doesn't take it too seriously."

Pierre-Louis Jamin has a simple ambition - to ride as many winners as possible and for as many trainers as possible, and he achieved his 22nd when Fitzrova clung on to win the first division by a fast diminishing short head.