The Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge is a pure test of speed over 955 metres. The barriers are positioned in the 1000 metre chute and the challenge is to see which horse breaks 55 seconds across the Jeep Night Racing Season.
On each of the 18 night meeting in season 2013/14, Moonee Valley stage an Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge heat, with 18 heats carrying prizemoney of $55,000. The Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge heat is programmed as race 5 at 8.45pm at each of the night meetings.
Vatican was the 2012/13 series winner and track record holder with a time of 54.69 as achieved on Friday 22 February 2013, winning trainer Byron Cozamanis a Mazda BT-50 valued at $55,000 courtesy of Essendon Mazda.