Oaks

(The). One of the three great classic races of England. The Derby and Oaks are run at Epsom, and the St. Leger at Doncaster. The Oaks, in the parish of Woodmanstone, received its name from Lambert's Oaks, and an inn, called the “Hunter's Club,” was rented of the Lambert family. It afterwards became the residence of General Burgoyne, from whom it passed to the 11th Earl of Derby. It was Edward Smith Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby, who originated the Oak Stakes, May 14, 1779. On his death, in 1834, the estate was sold to Sir Charles Guy, and was then held by Joseph Smith. The Oaks Stakes are for fillies three years old. (See Debby.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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