by J F Herring Jnr
Image Size: 26 x 20 in
Paper Size: 30 x 24 in
‘St Leger Winner 1828’ depicts the racehorse The Colonel with the jockey William Scott. The Colonel was a chestnut colt foaled in 1825, bred by Mr. Wyvill at Burton Constable, and owned by the Hon. Edward Petre. Amongst his most successful performances were the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in 1827 (so called because the winner had to give the Club six dozen bottles of Champagne), and in 1828 he ran a dead heat with Cadland for the Derby but was beaten in the run off.
He won the St. Leger at Doncaster in the same year, where he beat Major Yarburgh’s Belinda and Mr. Armitage’s Velocipede. This portrait of The Colonel and Scott celebrates the win at St Leger.
The St. Leger Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run at Doncaster over a distance of 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards (2,937 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in September.
Established in 1776, the St. Leger is the oldest of Britain’s five Classics. It is the last of the five to be run each year, and its distance is longer than any of the other four.
The event was devised by Anthony St. Leger, an army officer and politician who lived near Doncaster. It was initially referred to as “A Sweepstake of 25 Guineas”, and its original distance was two miles. The rules stipulated that colts and geldings were to carry 8 st, and fillies would receive an allowance of 2 lb.
The title St. Leger Stakes was decided at a dinner party held in 1777 to discuss the following year’s race. It was suggested that it should be called the Rockingham Stakes in honour of the host, the Marquess of Rockingham, but the Marquess proposed that it should be named instead after Anthony St. Leger. The event was moved to its present location, Town Moor, in 1778.