The 2018 English St.Leger will take place as a 24-greyhound stake starting on Sunday October 28 over 710m at Perry Barr writes Floyd Amphlett.

The four heat winners will each collect a £400 first prize. The two semi finals go ahead the following Sunday, November 4, and will be worth £750 to the winner, with £100 for others. The final takes place on Saturday November 10 and will be worth £5,500 to the winner, with the runner-up collecting £600, with £200 to others.

At this stage, there is no sponsor for the event following the withdrawal by William Hill and there are currently no plans for the event to be broadcast on TV.

Perry Barr GM Martin Fennings said: “We realise that the prize money is significantly reduced but we have had to cut our cloth accordingly, and it is still £12,500 in total. We have listened to owners and trainers and resisted the urge to put a disproportionate amount to the winner’s prize and have tried to share it around more evenly.

“Given the ongoing issues facing many major competitions, our priority, given the prestige of the St. Leger, was to ensure that it actually took place.”

The William Hill sponsored 2017 St.Leger, won by Rubys Rascal, carried a winner’s prize of £25,000.

However, given the prestige of the event, rated on second to the English Derby among the original list of eight classics, the 90th anniversary Leger has all the makings of a ’24 runner invitation’.

Although racing manager Martin Seal is currently on holiday, it seems likely that he will now authorise a string of Leger trialstakes from late September onwards.