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Earliest Meeting: 1875
Final Meeting: Continues to operate
The South Australian suburb of Morphettvile is on the outskirts of the city of Adelaide, some 5 kilometres away in the city of Marion. The suburb has its own racecourse, named after a famous early settler called Sir John Morphett, and first opened its gates for racing in 1875. The very next year it hosted the Adelaide Cup which had previously been run at Thebarton. The winner of that 1876 Adelaide Cup was Impudence. Also in that year it took over the running of the South Australian Derby which had been launched in 1860 as the Thebarton Derby. In the inaugural running at Morphettville the Derby was won by Pride of the Hills

Local Patrons Sir John Morphett
Principal Races Adelaide Cup, South Australian Derby

It hosts 4 Group One races annually, including the Australian Oaks for 3 year old fillies run over 2000 metres in April. This was first run in 1951 when won by Gay Comedy, while in 2017 the Australasian Oaks went to Egg Tart.

In 1979 a fire destroyed the member's stand at Morphettville, causing major races to be transferred to Cheltenham and Victoria Park. However, once Morphettville was re-furbished using the latest technology, it became the principal racecourse in South Australia and the writing was on the wall for both Victoria Park, which closed in 2007, and Cheltenham Park, which closed after the meeting on Saturday 21st February 2009.

The photos above, although in the public domain, are shown courtesy of the State Library of South Australia.

It also hosts the Goodwood Handicap in April, an Open race run over 1200 metres. The first winner of this race was D.O.D. in 1881, while the winner in 2017 was Vega Magic.
Two further Group races are the Robert Sangster Stakes over 1200 metres and the South Australian Derby for 3 year olds over 2500 metres. The first winner of the former race was Ranee’s Place in 1983 and in 2017 it was won by Secret Agenda. The most famous race run at the track is the Derby which was first run in 1860 when won by Midnight. In 2017 South Australian Derby was won by Volatile Mix.
Course today The course continues to thrive today and is seen as South Australia's premier track.
If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

Morphettville_1982_ladies.JPG (20894 bytes)
SAJC 87.JPG (18008 bytes)      

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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