As the 2016/17 night racing season concludes with the William Reid Stakes night at The Valley, the curtain comes down on the Inglis 55 Second Challenge series for another year.
With a total of 16 heats run throughout the night racing season, the trainer of the horse with the fastest time in the series wins a $50,000 Inglis cheque to be spent at one of Inglis’ auctions in 2017.
As it currently stands, trainer Russell Bell is in line to claim the $50,000 after Sirbible stormed to the top of the leaderboard with an impressive 54.84 in heat 5 back on 11 November.
The Colac-based Bell is looking forward to the conclusion of the 55 Second Challenge and admitted to being a little nervous having led the series for more than three months.
“I’m obviously going to be a bit nervous but I went fishing yesterday just to settle the nerves down,” he said.
The star of Bell’s stable has been entered to contest the final heat on Friday night having enjoyed a freshen up following its third place in the Group 2 Australia Stakes.
Sirbible will enter Friday’s race as the top-weight and far from the bookies’ favourite, however Bell has every confidence in his star sprinter.
“I’m confident the horse is 150% within himself,” he said.
“He’s had a beautiful freshen up between Australia Stakes and tomorrow night.
“His work tells me he’s gone to another level and he’s raring to go.”
The Inglis 55 Second Challenge has been a long journey for Bell as he’s had to watch as many have tried and failed to claim the series’ lead.
Bell says that he’s kept an eye on the series as the challengers to Sirbible’s time have come and gone.
“I’ve followed it to a certain extent,” he said.
“I’ve missed a few but I’ve made a point of having a look at the results.”
Whatever happens tomorrow night at The Valley, Bell will be content knowing that Sirbible is only getting better and better – a scary prospect for his rivals.
“Whatever he does tomorrow night there’ll never be any disappointment on my behalf in regards to the horse,” he said.
“Whatever beats him will win the race.”