Richard Guest has had a lean time of things of late but that all changed at Southwell when Blushing Prince showed good speed to win the Go Pontin's Apprentice Handicap.
The nine-year-old still had plenty to do at the top of the home straight but came with a positive challenge under 4lb claimer Patrick Donaghy to score by two lengths from Shadow Jumper.
It was Guest's first success in 95 days under both codes and connections hope the yard will now enjoy an upturn in fortunes as a consequence.
"The horses have had all sorts of maintenance but are generally in good nick," said Guest's representative Peter Gorvin.
"Hopefully, this will now be the start of a winning sequence."
Gorvin added: "This is his minimum trip as he often runs too freely and doesn't get home."
The excellent form of Mark Johnston's winter squad was succinctly underlined with a 14-1 double.
The Middleham handler has saddled a stack of winners over the last few weeks and put clear water between himself and his all-weather championship rivals after Regal Parade and Annemasse were guided home by Joe Fanning.