RACEGOERS thronged the parade ring at Salisbury last night to grab a glimpse of the irrepressible Frankie Dettori, who made a rare visit to the track.

He was booked for only one ride on Samburu in the seven-furlong novice stakes and the odds on favourite naturally obliged to the delight of the crowd - and his relief.

"Was it worth coming here?" he was asked, to which he quipped: "It would a long way home (to Newmarket) if he hadn't won!"

Absent trainer John Gosden had advised Dettori not to lead and he duly played cat and mouse with Tom Marquand on the pace making Neptunian, moving to his outside two out. But the Kingman colt, who had made a winning debut at Yarmouth last season, displayed his inexperience and had to be rousted before putting the race to bed, eventually winning more comfortably than the winning margin of a three-quarters of a length would suggest.

"It took a long time for the penny to drop," he confirmed. "But he was in command at the end. He is very much better horse with a target to aim at and I didn't want to get there too early. He would have learnt a lot today. He's quite relaxed and I think he will get a mile."

Those who revel in statistics will have long noted Clive Cox is very much the trainer to follow at the course. A £1 stake on all his horses over the last five seasons will have yielded a handsome £67 plus profit.

Not that anyone would have got rich on Kaasib who took the opening juvenile race at the prohibitive odds of 1/2 to confirm his running against Democracy Dilemma who he beat at Windsor a fortnight ago.

Jockey Hector Crouch delivered the synopsis: "Travelled well, though I had to squeeze him a little to get past the second but he pricked his ears and won going away. He liked the ground."

With Cox saddling a runner at Chantilly, it was left to assistant Matt Stanley to put the race into perspective.

"He is the most forward of those we have run," he said, the inference being there is better to come from the yard.

Every comfortable two-year-old winner in the spring is invariably touted as Royal Ascot material and Stanley was not dismissive of a possible entry.

He said: "The form has worked out. He's very straight forward. He's a markedly nice horse and we think a lot of him."

Makarova made her handicap debut a winning one in the style of a horse who shrewd Ed Walker hopes will develop into a good class filly. Despite having her fourth run, the three-year-old still showed her greenness by drifting to her left when Tom Marquand brought her out of the pack in the six-furlong handicap.

"She's very sleepy horse at home and didn't strike me as a sprinter," said the Upper Lambourn trainer. "She was very backward last year and is still very babyish and raw as she showed by drifting across the track. We will pick our way with her."