Russell Bell bullish Canterbury will suit Northern Territory cult hero Sirbible

Classic chance: Sirbible. Photo: Vince CaligiuriOne of the Northern Territory’s top cattle farming families and the family of one of the Top End’s former leading policemen may be linked by marriage, but it is their association with cult speedster Sirbible that will be front and centre at Canterbury on Saturday.

Sirbible’s trainer Russell Bell calls Colac in Victoria home for now and has been campaigning his free-wheeling sprinter in Sydney of late, but he remains very much a product of the Northern Territory.

The family of Ian Kesby, who helped investigate the disappearance of British backpacker Peter Falconio, and the cattle farming Stanes clan have a son and daughter who married and Sirbible is an extension of that union.

After beating all bar The Monstar home in the Razor Sharp a fortnight ago, Bell is bullish about Sirbible’s chances in the $150,000 Canterbury Classic on New Year’s Eve.

“To me I’ve watched a lot of races at Canterbury and it makes perfect sense that it is the right track for him,” Bell said. “He likes tight tracks as everybody has seen and, if he can run at Canterbury like he runs at Moonee Valley – which I’m tipping he’s going to – it’s going to suit him down to the ground.

“Robbie Brewer said it was a five-length better gallop this week prior to his first one [before the Razor Sharp]. The horse is in super condition and he seems to be really thriving in Sydney.”

Bell has called upon South Australia veteran hoop Wayne Kerford to reunite with Sirbible to help alleviate the shortage of lightweight riders in Sydney.

“As soon as he got off the phone he was running to the airport,” Bell said. “Wayne’s a good friend of mine and I’ve said it once before he’s probably in the twilight of his career and they look for the younger guys now, but he’s got a wealth of experience and he’s won on the horse.

“Kerrin [McEvoy] rode him super last start for a bloke that’s just got on him. You don’t win Melbourne Cups and ride like he does if you’re not a champion, but ‘Bulldog’ was the top pick for a lightweight.”

Sirbible was a $10 chance with Ladbrokes on Friday for the Canterbury Classic in a market headed by His Majesty ($4.80).

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