Doncaster have announced the dates for their St. Leger and have taken on trainer Louise Taylorson at the start of an expansion of their kennel strength.
The Leger first. Much the same as last year – 36 greyhounds over 661 metres. Heats Wednesday October 9, semi finals, a week later, and final on Wednesday October 23.
The prize is excellent once again. The winner collects £12,000 with £1,500 for the runner-up, £500 for third and £250 other finalists.
The appointment of Louise Taylorson comes as a surprise given the track seemed to have a healthy kennel strength.
Promoter John Watson said: “We have had more than enough dogs, and we have had a bit of a dip, mainly with a glut of bitches in season. But that isn’t the reason that we want runners. I have a couple of racing options down the line and so I am still looking for at least two more decent sized kennels. Anybody who is interested should get in touch with the stadium.
“But until I am in a position to decide on my options, I will promise that dogs won’t be left on their beds if we have too many. I will add extra races onto all the meetings and cover the costs myself.”
Louise Taylorson said: “There was a fall out between my husband Lance and John Gilburn which meant we had to split the kennels between Doncaster and Sheffield with Lance racing at Doncaster.
“It was a very difficult situation for both of us and I had to run down my contract with Sheffield. That is now expired and on the 19th of this month we will consolidate the kennels to give us a race strength of probably 48 dogs.
“Despite it all, I will be sad to leave Sheffield after twelve years. There are some lovely people there who I will miss, but Doncaster could not have been more helpful. Anything I have asked for, John or Teddy Watson have done for me.
“So it’s a mixture of sadness and relief and I am really looking forward to the future.”