Adelaide Cup

The Group 2 Adelaide Cup is a good distance race that may not attract Australia’s brightest stars, but is still a compelling run.

Run over a distance of 3200 metres, it would seem at first glance that the Adelaide Cup would be a perfect indicator for the Melbourne Cup. That just isn’t so, however, as the competition is not as tough and the race is held in early Autumn.

A major reason the Adelaide Cup does not get the best competitors is the prize purse, which is rich at $400,000 but not seen as worth the incredible training effort required for a 3200 metre run. It is nevertheless an important race at Morphettville Racecourse, helping to bring interest to the course in the lead up to the Group 1 Australasian Oaks.

The Adelaide Cup has had a long and varied history, starting with a winning run by Falcon in 1864. At one point, the race was only 2600 metres, and it used to be a Group 1 affair before downgrading in 2007. It also used to be held each May, but it has recently been changed to early March.

The most successful horse in the Adelaide Cup was Lord Reims, who won the race from 1987 through 1989. Despite this impressive achievement, the better known Adelaide Cup winner is probably Subzero, who was much loved by Australian racing fans for many years thanks to a legendary Melbourne Cup performance in 1992. Subzero made his mark that year in the Adelaide Cup first, however.

Adelaide Cup Fast Facts

Location: Morphettville Racecourse
Date: Early March
Status: Group 2
Distance: 3200m
Prizemoney: $400,000
Conditions: Open Handicap
Inaugurated: 1864