GOOD times are set to be coming back to the yard of Piddletrenthide-based trainer Nick Mitchell, as he scooped his first winner after a horrific virus swept through Dorset stable over the winter.

Tom Scudamore claimed victory on board seven-year-old Phone Home at Ffos Las on Monday to give Mitchell his first win back, a result that he was delighted with.

“It was nice for him to finally get his head in front,” the trainer, pictured, told Echosport after the gelding had romped home by two-and-a-quarter lengths.

“He has run a lot of good races and was second five times, for him to finally win was a great relief.

“Hopefully now he will progress, he is still a relative baby over the fences and we might give him one more run before we give him a break and bring him back for next season.”

Commenting further on the virus, he added: “We pretty much shut down for a couple of months because of it, we ran one or two but you could tell even they weren’t right.

"We had to show the owners blood tests because, although the horses looked well, they weren’t performing well on the race course.

“It showed up on the tests and basically just ripped the guts out of the season, but we are over it now.”

With Mitchell getting his first winner in the bag, he believes this is the start of things to come for his yard.

He said: “It’s a great relief to know we are still doing the right things and hopefully we can kick on and progress, like a lot of yards we are down on numbers but we are still here and we have some nice horses to work with.

“We have had some great success in the past, we’ve got great facilities and we’ve just had a bad run this season. Hopefully we are well on the way to getting the numbers back from a couple of years ago.

“We have three or four which we will run over the summer and tick along with, then we will look to get back fully with the new season around October time.”