The Adelaide Cup Day

Adelaide Cup is a state holiday in South Australia that falls on the second Monday of March since 2006. This horse racing event has been the heart of South Australia’s sporting and social life since it was first run in 1864. It is a  handicap horse race for three-year-olds and older, run over 3,200 metres at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide. Total prize money for the race is A$400,000. Adelaide Cup Day is a public holiday in South Australia, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

This Public Holiday is also used by other “Mad March” events (the Adelaide Festival of the Arts, the associated Fringe Festival, the WOMAD world music festival, a touring car race the weekend prior).

Adelaide Cup is part of a long weekend so it is also a time for many people to plan a short vacation or camping trip to other parts of the state or other states within Australia

Horse racing in Adelaide began in 1838. A wartime ban on racing was introduced in 1942 but the ban was lifted in 1944 and the Adelaide Cup was run again. Adelaide Cup received its public holiday status in 1973 and became officially known as the SKYCITY Adelaide Cup in 2005.

Previously held on the third Monday of May, the Adelaide Cup date was changed in 2006 due to rainy weather.

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