"...The St Leger, known world wide as the oldest classic turf race, was first entitled 'A sweepstake of 25 guineas' and was not given its present name until 3 years later. It was first run on 25 September 1776, as a sweepstake of 2 miles on Cantley Common in Doncaster. (Colts to carry 8 stone and fillies 7 stone 12 pounds). The first race was won by Allabaculia, a brown filly, owned by the Marquess of Rockingham. The second horse past the post was owned by a military gentleman, Lt Colonel Anthony St Leger, of Park Hill estate, near Firbeck, 9 miles from Doncaster.
There is some controversy over the naming of the St Leger, some claim it occurred over a meal at The Red Lion in the Market place, others claim it was at the Salutation on South Parade, others at Warmsworth Hall or at Wentworth Woodhouse, the seat of the Marquess of Rockingham. When it was suggested that it should be called the Rockingham Stakes, the Marquess is said to have replied, ' No it was my friend St Leger who suggested the thing to me - call it after him.'
The first official St Leger, was won by Hollandaise ridden by George Herring and owned by Sir Thomas Gascoigne..."