EXPECT jump jockey Richard Johnson to push current champion rider Tony McCoy all the way before National Hunt's annual week-long break in mid-September.
They shared the honours at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse's last meeting, and were vying for winners again on Countryside Day in North Wales tomorrow.
McCoy is only a handful of winners ahead of his great rival, as Johnson, the perennial bridesmaid in the jockeys' title race, reasserts his challenge in 2005/6.
The pair will be back in action on the first day of the Dee Festival next month, when racing is staged on consecutive days at Bangor-on-Dee and Chester Racecourses.
The feature event at the jumps track on Friday, September 9, is the Betdaq.co.uk Handicap Hurdle, a race worth £15,000.
Channel 4 cameras will be at The Roodee for the final time in 2005 the following day when the most valuable race is the £30,000 totesport Henry Gee Stakes over six furlongs.
Racegoers who wish to enjoy jump racing in the country and flat racing in the city can obtain a badge for both days of the Dee Festival at a discounted rate of £35. Admission is to the Paddock Enclosure at Bangor-on-Dee and the County Stand at Chester. These tickets can be bought through Chester Racecourse. * Final racing at Chester Race-course in 2005 is the second day of the Dee Festival on Saturday, September 10. Race time is scheduled for 2.10pm. For tickets, visit www.chester-races.com, call 01244 304610. For information on racing at Bangor, visit www.BangorOnDeeR-aces.co.uk or call 01978 780323.