Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Adelaide Cup Day – March 10, 2025

The Adelaide Cup Day (Australia) is celebrated on the second Monday of March every year and is also known as the March Public Holiday. This year, it takes place on March 10. This public holiday in South Australia is the day when the Adelaide Cup Day Race occurs and has been an important part of Australia’s landscape for centuries. The Adelaide Cup Day is a race by the South Australian Jockey Club for Group 2 thoroughbred horses. This race is the second oldest horse race in Australia, next to the Melbourne Cup. An important race, it brings together the best race jockeys and horses from South Australia and sometimes even some of the Northern states.

History of Adelaide Cup Day

The Adelaide Cup (Australia) is a national holiday in Southern Australia celebrated on the second Monday of March every year. While the holiday was instituted more recently, the race itself has been a part of Australian culture for centuries. This cup is a South Australian Jockey Club horse race for Group 2 Thoroughbred horses.

Group races, also known as pattern races, are some of the highest-level races for thoroughbred horses in the world. There are about 550 group races in Australia. While the Adelaide Cup used to be a Group 1 race like the Melbourne Cup, it has now become a Group 2 race. The minimum prize money for a Group 2 horse race is $175,000 (Australian dollars). The prize money for the Adelaide Cup (Australia) is $400,000 (Australian dollars).

Today the race is 3,200 meters, which is about two miles. Earlier, the race was measured through furlongs. The Adelaide Cup (Australia) began as a 13-furlong race that became 16 furlongs with time.

The Adelaide Cup (Australia) is the second oldest race for thoroughbred horses in the country, second only to the Melbourne Cup, which is a Group 1 race. The Adelaide Cup is a major social event, and part of the Mad March celebrations in South Australia which include arts and music festivals as well as a touring car race. Since the attendance at the race dropped, the South Australia Jockey Club has contemplated moving the race out of March but wasn’t able to because the public holiday couldn’t be changed.

Adelaide Cup Day timeline

Adelaide Cup Race Has its First Run

The first race of the Adelaide Cup is held at Thebarton Racecourse.

Ban on Racing Stops the Cup

World over, there is a ban on racing owing to the World War, so the Adelaide Cup was not held between 1942 and 1943.

The Cup Receives Official Holiday Status

The government of Australia declares the Adelaide Cup to be a public holiday, recognizing that it is an important part of the Australian cultural landscape.

The Race is Downgraded to Group 2

The Australian Pattern Committee reports to the racing board about which races should be group races, and it decides to downgrade the Adelaide Cup from a Group 1 to a Group 2 race.

Adelaide Cup Day FAQs

Where can I watch the Adelaide Cup?

You can watch the Cup on T.V. or live at the Morphettville Racecourse.

Why is the Adelaide Cup a public holiday?

The popularity of the Adelaide Cup and its capacity to increase tourism is why it was declared a public holiday.

What can I do during the long weekend?

Music and arts festivals are part of the long weekend of March Madness leading to the Adelaide Cup on Monday, so you have a lot of experiences to explore.

Adelaide Cup Day Activities

  1. Head over to the Morphettville Racecourse

    Catch the Adelaide Cup live at the Morphettville Racecourse and watch the best horses and jockeys in South Australia on this day. It’s sure to be a delight!

  2. Bet on your favorite horse

    An important part of horse racing is betting on the fastest horses. Keep an eye out for the best and bet on your favorite horse or jockey.

  3. Make it an outing

    Grab your friends and drive down for the race as part of March Madness. Attend a few other events on the way.

5 Facts About The Adelaide Cup (Australia) You Probably Didn’t Know

  1. It was very popular

    Part of why it became a public holiday was how popular the Adelaide Cup was and in 1951, over 50,000 people attended the race.

  2. It used to be held in May

    The public holiday associated with the race changed when the club decided to have the races in March instead of May, and that’s why the government doesn’t want to change it again.

  3. It used to be a Principal Race

    When it first began, the Adelaide Cup was a Principal Race. It stayed like that till 1979, when it became a group race.

  4. It’s been run on Victoria Park

    The year of Morphettville’s renovation and a year of heavy rains, the race was moved to Victoria Park.

  5. There are eight races at the Cup

    The first of the races begins at noon and each race occurs 40 minutes after the one before to give the crowd time to mingle, buy things, and socialize.

Why We Love Adelaide Cup Day

  1. We love horse races

    The Adelaide Cup (Australia) is a race with the best of horses from South Australia. We want a chance to see all of them in action.

  2. We love the culture

    Horse racing is its own subculture. We love being part of the betting, mingling, entertaining, and watching the horses and their jockeys in action.

  3. We want to dress up

    The Adelaide Cup is a fantastic occasion to dress up and enjoy the fun of the horse race among other beautifully dressed people. What’s not to love?

Adelaide Cup Day dates

2022March 14Monday
2023March 13Monday
2024March 11Monday
2025March 10Monday
2026March 9Monday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.