While the jockeys' championship is going to be difficult to prise from Douglas Whyte's iron grip again, barring something unforeseen, the break Tony Cruz has put between himself and John Size makes for a serious tussle in the trainers' table. Late last season, Cruz recognised that he and Size had almost identical strike rates but that the champion had sent out 100 more runners, so if his thinking was to improve to champion this season by running his horses more often, he is slightly ahead of last year's numbers, but it is the difference in strike rates which has been remarkable and set him up to topple Size. Up to and including the January 10 meeting last year, Size led with 36 wins from 245 runners, just under a 15 per cent strike rate, while Cruz was on 28 wins from 193 runners and just a tick under Size's strike rate. While their strike rates took similar trends thereafter, Size sent out 300 more runners and Cruz only another 250. At virtually the same point this term - January 10 last year was meeting 36 of 78, last Saturday's was 34 - Size's strike rate from just 219 runners is slightly lower, while Cruz's strike rate sits 20.8 per cent from almost exactly the same number of starters he had had in two more meetings last year. Obviously, if Cruz sustains a 20 per cent strike rate, he is unbeatable - Size was able to do it in his first year but it is a rare feat anywhere and the story of this season will be not what Size can do about it but just how high a percentage Cruz can maintain. In his past three seasons, Cruz has had 425 runners in 2001-02 (11 per cent win rate) , 465 runners the following year (12.3 per cent) and 447 runners last year at 13 per cent. If we allow that his aim is to have more runners than previously but that his win rate will drop to something similar to, even a touch better than what he has previously returned then perhaps Cruz would have 470 runners, or another 280, with his tally in the mid to high 60s - and his strike rate would have to plunge by half, to single figures, for him to fall short of 67 wins. Size, at the current strike rate or those of the last two seasons, will need another 300 runners at least to reach 70 wins and be assured of fighting out a tight finish. Either that or his own win rate will have to jump. It's an intriguing battle again but make no mistake - Size is under the gun. Let's see what he's got.