Ben Patterson and Kevin Bohorun are locked in a titanic battle for Leading Apprentice honours when the Geraldton Turf Club hosts its final meeting of the season on Thursday.
Bohorun leads on 89 points with Paterson, who rode at quartet of winners at the club's previous meeting on April 5, making a late surge to be four points behind on 85.
Paterson can score an early blow when he rides Rubin Sky in the opening race of the programme: the Holy Wool Trading Handicap (1200m).
Rubin Sky has won two out of his past three starts and was impressive last time out as the odds on favourite when scoring by an easy two lengths.
"He still has much to learn but what he has done so far suggests he will develop into a nice galloper," said Paterson.
"He is in form and will go close again."
Kenvain gelding China Bay stormed home powerfully from near last to score a convincing two length win over Danalea at his previous outing.
Paterson said he expects to follow a similar pattern of racing in the Sandy Harrison Jewellers Handicap (1300m).
"He needs to drop back and be ridden quiet before having one final shot at them," said Paterson.
"It proved highly successful a fortnight back when he won well."
The Frank Hunt Memorial Apprentices' Cup (2100m) will see Danetime mare A Special Time attempt another shot at the staying journey.
Prepared by Willie Parker, A Special Time has been unplaced at her previous three runs at the trip, including a fifth to Great 'N'Grey in the Geraldton Cup.
"I think it's been barrier draws and not a distance query that has been her downfall," said Paterson.
"In a couple of her previous runs she drew wide and had to do too much work early.
"From barrier four I can settle back before finishing off strongly".
Comanchero has recovered from a mid-season form slump and was back to his imposing last-start when defeating Hussonoa over 1400m.
The son of Viscount sat on the heels of That Perfect Smile before kicking clear to win by a dominant two lengths.
A repeat performance and Comanchero will have solid claims, but Paterson is wary of two rivals.
"Delta Jane has been racing in terrific form and Is It Windi turbo is unbeaten", Paterson said.
"It's a rise in class for Comanchero but his recent form can be discounted".
Bohorun's hopes will rest with Broccorina in race two, Spirit Of Menton in the fourth, Em Eye Seven in race five and Gettin' Amongst It in the second last.
Gordon Spowart, with 96 points, is on the cusp of claiming a remarkable 17th title in the Leading Trainer category.
The champion horseman has an unassailable 20 point lead over his nearest rival Murray Sharp.
Veteran Paul King has clinched the Leading Rider award and It Won't Be Long will take out the Horse of the Year honours.
It Won't Be Long, prepared by Andrew Voigt, had 10 starts for four wins and four minor placings.