The Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge will return for its eleventh season across the 2020/2021 Ladbrokes Friday Night series on the back of Group 1 winning mare Bella Vella's success earlier this year.
The speedster challenge saw South Australian trainer Will Clarken walk away $55,000 richer thanks to Ladbrokes after the Adelaide galloper beat her own time in the final heat, clocking a sizzling 54.84.
The 55 Second Challenge was first launched in 2010 and was won by the Peter Boynton trained La Bella Roo. Over 170 heats have been conducted since its debut, with Vatican holding the 955 metre record in a time of 54.69.
A 955 metre heat of the Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge will be held at each Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights' race meeting, with the trainer of the fastest horse set to receive a cheque with thanks to Ladbrokes for $55,000.
"The Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge has become an institution and adds a unique twist to each Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights' meeting, bringing some of the country's fastest horses to The Valley to go all out under lights," said Michael Browell, MVRC CEO.
"It has produced some wonderful stories for emerging trainers over the past few seasons, and we look forward to trainers from near and far bringing their sprinters to take on the challenge again."
Ladbrokes have been proud partners of the series for the past three seasons and are excited to partner again.
"The Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge has become a real focal point and adds an extra element of excitement to the Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights' meetings at The Valley," said Karl deKroo, Ladbrokes Executive Director – Corporate Development.
"There's something quite thrilling about seeing the sprinters being set alight around the short course, and we have seen some spectacular performances over the years.
"Trying to predict the winning time of the night has become a staple favourite of Ladbrokes punters in the Ladbrokes Lounge at The Valley, and we look forward to bringing that back when it is safe again to do so."
The first heat of the Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge will be on Friday, September 25, which is also set to feature the $1 million Group 1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes.