In 1778 the 12th earl of Derby, Edward Smith Stanley, challenged friends at a dinner party to race their three-year old fillies over a distance of one and a half miles. He named it The Oaks after the Woodmansterne estate he leased in Banstead from his uncle, General Burgoyne. The Earl's horse, Bridget, won the first ever Oaks. The race has continued every year since and still is a major event in the English flat racing calendar. Click here for a list of Oaks winners.