Luke Nolen says the race for the Melbourne jockeys' premiership will go down to the wire after he traded multiple wins with Craig Newitt at Caulfield on Saturday.
Nolen got his day off to a perfect start with victory in the opening race aboard smart filly Le Societe to draw level with Newitt in the title race.
But Newitt responded immediately with a winning double, first with a lucky pick-up ride on spring carnival-bound filly Elite Elle and then on the Mick Price-trained Tariana.
Nolen restored the one-win margin with his second win of the day aboard the Peter Moody-trained Turnitup in the Leslie Short Hiskins (2000m).
Nolen was pleased with his day's work but knows has a battle to take out his third straight premiership.
"Two winners is better than no winners," Nolen said.
"I think there's another nine meetings to go in the season. Froggy (Newitt) is very keen to win it and I'm keen not to let him. It will probably go right down to the wire."
Newitt's premiership chances received a boost when he picked up the ride on the Tony Vasil-trained Elite Elle when Danny Nikolic failed to show up because of illness.
The two-year-old made light work of the TattsBet.com Handicap (1200m), sitting outside the lead before racing to a 1-3/4-length win to remain unbeaten from three starts.
Newitt, chasing his first premiership, was thrilled to get the opportunity to post an unexpected win on the filly he rates as an exciting prospect.
"I'll take as many as I can get," Newitt said.
Elite Elle will be given a short break and Vasil said he would look to a couple of three-year-old fillies stakes races early next season.
A tilt at the Thousand Guineas (1600m) could also be on the cards.
Newitt believes that wouldn't be beyond the youngster if Vasil decided to head that way.
"She's very good. To measure up to a Thousand Guineas she's probably going to have to keep taking the step up but I think she's got the scope to do that," he said.
While Newitt and Nolen both notched winning doubles, 3kg claiming apprentices also found the winners' circle.
Damian Lane scored aboard stakes-winning filly Platelet while Bradley Wallace notched his first metropolitan Saturday winner with an all-the-way victory on Forty Thirty.
Jake Noonan came out on top in the battle of the junior riders, taking out the Travis Harrison Cup (1600m) for apprentices on Sussuro who is trained by his father Tony.It wasn't such a good day for another apprentice Tom Sadler who was suspended for 11 meetings.