Seven fascinating facts about the St Leger festival in Doncaster

St Leger festival.
St Leger festival.

The St Leger Festival returns to Doncaster Racecourse in September, but here's seven things you may not know about this classic four-day event.

1) The festival was founded in 1776 by Colonel Anthony St. Leger, and is now a highlight of the racecourse's calendar.

Ladies enjoy St Leger festival.

Ladies enjoy St Leger festival.

2) The flagship day of the William Hill St Leger Festival, St Leger Day, which this year takes place on Saturday September 15, attracts more than 30,000 racegoers to Doncaster Racecourse each year to witness the St Leger Stakes, the world's oldest classic race.

3) In over 240 years, the St. Leger Stakes was cancelled just once, in 1939 when World War II broke out.

4) The Queen has attended the St Leger festival, and was accompanied by Sir Winston Churchill in 1953 who became the first, and only, serving prime minister to attend.

5) The festival took place in York in 2006 because of renovations at Doncaster Racecourse.

6) The fewest number of runners in the race was three in 1917, and the most was 30 in 1825.

7) Racing bible The Racing Post found that Doncaster’s classic meeting was the fifth most popular of all races in Britain in a 2013 survey.