The battle royal that is developing for this season's title for champion jockey is going to be the key story for the last two months of the term, and tonight's Happy Valley fixture might even be critical to the final result. Douglas Whyte has been dominant now for six seasons and never more so than last year, when he smashed his record by landing 114 winners. It was a sparkling victory indeed, with Brett Prebble being a distant runner-up on 63 wins. On Sunday at the city venue, Prebble's win on Happy Fit for Tony Cruz took him to a personal best with 64 wins, with another 15 meetings to run. But this season, Whyte is not a lap in front - he has just three winners up his sleeve and the rivalry between the pair shapes as one of the most promotable contests seen in racing since the halcyon days of Tony Cruz versus Gary Moore 20 years ago. Prebble's performance is all the more remarkable because he has achieved his 64 wins from just 382 rides, a strike rate of 16.8 per cent. Whyte, whose right to the number one strike rate has been as constant as the premierships, has had 119 more rides from which to land those three extra winners, at a strike rate of 13.4 per cent. Both Whyte and Prebble will be hoping to make the next two meetings count, with flamboyant Frenchman Olivier Doleuze sidelined by suspension. Doleuze is also a super competitor and has even sacrificed a winning chance in the Singapore Airlines International Cup on May 20 to give himself every hope of winning the title. He is a close third on 60 victories, four behind Prebble. Whyte has six rides on tonight's card and, as usual, a number of winning chances, including Marvellous in the third event. On last night's 8pm tote call, Marvellous was a $42 chance and challenging Wine Win ($31) for favouritism. As the Durban Demon showed with a tactically superb victory on Young Hero in the final event on Sunday, the title won't be leaving his hands without a massive fight. And those who know him best have always insisted his riding goes up a notch in the face of a committed rivalry. Prebble has seven rides tonight, with a number of nice mounts for the leading trainers Caspar Fownes and Paul O'Sullivan. But his most likely winner is Hurray Hurray ($35 favourite), from the yard of his long-time friend and supporter David Hall, in race seven.