Adam Kirby has signalled his all-weather title ambitions after a winning run over the new year which has taken him into the lead over Robert Havlin and his old adversary Luke Morris.
A treble at Lingfield at the end of the year and three more winners in a row at Wolverhampton and Chelmsford to start the new year helped add eight winners in the last two weeks and take his championship score to 33, three ahead of Havlin.
That run of success leaves him nine clear of Morris, who has won three of the five official all-weather championship titles since their inception in the 2013-14 season.
Kirby has won the other two, starting with the inaugural championship, and he has topped the all-weather charts a total of three times, again beating Morris in the 2012-13 season.
The pair have dominated the all-weather scene for nearly ten years, finishing first and second in five of the last seven seasons since Joe Fanning beat them both in the 2011-12 season.
2017-18 Morris 73
2016-17 Kirby 76
2015-16 Morris 86
2014-15 Morris 102
2013-14 Kirby 90
2012-13 Kirby 91
Asked about his title ambitions after his latest win, Kirby said: "I am going to have a crack at it.
"I didn't set out with that in mind this season, but thanks to the good run I have had it has just happened.
"I need to keep it going now with things going well."
Kirby has bounced back from a truncated last all-weather campaign which saw him drop to fourth in the table with 43 winners as Morris racked up 73 to beat Oisin Murphy.
Kirby and Morris both have five rides at Kempton this evening, while Havlin partners two at the Sunbury track with another two at Lingfield this afternoon.