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History

The South Australian Jockey Club celebrates a rich and proud history here at Morphettville. We are currently working to curate our historical pieces and memorabilia here on course. If you are interested in being involved or you have a piece you’d like to donate to the club please contact us.

1838 - 1899

1838

Turf Club of South Australia formed.

1840

Club folds but racing continues.

1846

Eastern Parklands meeting held (now Victoria Park).

1851

Race meeting held at Glenelg on likely site of Morphettville. South Australian Jockey Club (1) formed.

1856

St. Leger Stakes founded won by “Touchstone”.

1855

New SAJC (2) formed.

1860

The first South Australian Derby was run at Thebarton and won by “Midnight”.

1861

Leading British stallion “Fisherman” imported by Mr Fisher. SAJC (3) formed to become the administrators and controllers of racing in SA.

1864

The inaugural running of the Adelaide Cup. It was run on the racecourse at Thebarton, and was worth 500 guineas. It was won by Mr. CA Dowling’s horse “Falcon”.

1866

Cowra, sired by Falcon wins first of consecutive Adelaide Cups.

1869

Thebarton racecourse closed. Duke of Edinburgh visits Eastern Parklands course.

1871

Eastern Parklands to be known as Victoria Park.

1873

The South Australian Jockey Club (4) formed under the chairmanship of Sir John Morphett.

1875

First meeting held at Morphettville on 3rd September. The first race won by “Red Gauntlet” owned by Honourable Thomas Elder, who had been a prime mover in the establishment of the course.

1879

Totalisator betting introduced to Adelaide. Queen’s Birthday Cup (now known as the Birthday Cup) was first run as a Stakes Race and won by Australian Cup and AJC Derby winner Richmond.

1881

Prince Albert and Prince George visit Morphettville. D.O.D. wins the first running of the Goodwood Handicap.

1884

Malua, a great racehorse of his time won the Adelaide Cup.

1885

Government bans all forms of gambling with the Totalisator Repeal Act. The Adelaide Cup ran at Flemington as the SAJC had already taken entries for the event which was won by Mr. E Ellis’s “Lord Wilton”. Racing was abandoned for four years.

1888

Adelaide Racing Club formed to control Victoria Park.

1889

The Club acquire title rights to own the racecourse and 160 acres of land at Morphettville. The same year totalisator betting is re-introduced. The first Adelaide Cup since 1885 is held and is won by “The Lawyer”.

1890

Port Adelaide Racing Club formed.

1900 - 1999

1900

85 registered colours and 121 licensed jockeys.

Early view of Morphettville on Adelaide Cup Day

1911

Eye Glass wins the first of two Adelaide Cups.

1916

Military forces camped at Morphettville, so race meetings were transferred to Victoria Park.

Military-camp-at-Morphettville-Racecourse,-1915

1920

Duke of Windsor visits Victoria Park.

1921

“The Julius” totalisator installed. A new brick totalisator building was erected.

1925

Members stand built.

1927

School for apprentice jockeys started. Duke and Duchess of York visit Morphettville. They admire the great horse “Manfred” who was paraded on the course.

Jockeys-at-Morphettville,-1923

1929

The depression reduces attendances. Radio broadcasts introduced.

1930

“Phar Lap” wins first running of Kings Cup at Morphettville.

1933

Betting Control Board licences bookmakers to operate on racecourses and off track betting shops.

1937

Middle grass training track first used.

1940

Fire: One of the Derby stands destroyed.

1942

345 bookmakers registered. March 1st marked a wartime ban on racing.

1950

Peerless Fox wins the first of consecutive Adelaide Cups.

1951

Photo finish camera introduced. Used in the Adelaide Cup to separate a desperately close finish. “Gay Comedy” wins the first SA Oaks. Highest ever Cup attendance – 50,000 people to watch “Peerless Fox”.

1954

Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh visit Morphettville.

The arrival of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh

1955

Starting Stalls introduced.

1958

Quinella introduced.

1961

The great “Tulloch” wins the S.J.Pullman Stakes at Cheltenham.

1963

“Sometime” finishes second in the Adelaide Cup for the second time (never to win).

1967

TAB commences operating in SA.

1968

The great “Rain Lover” wins the Adelaide Cup. “Debhel Boy” and “Artic Coast” finish second and third for the second time.

1970

Aluminium running rail first used at Morphettville.

The Adelaide Cup was run as the Centenary Cup and was granted a Public holiday for the first time. “Tavel” won, the first of his two Cups, the other came in 1973.

1972

Twilight meeting held at Morphettville to coincide with Perth Cup.

1975

1st July, all three Adelaide racing clubs amalgamate to form the SAJC.

Racing is telecast from Morphettville.

1979

Fire: Members stand destroyed. Many irreplaceable records and photos destroyed. All racing transferred to Cheltenham and Victoria Park. New Zealand female jockey, Linda Jones is first woman to ride in Adelaide Cup on board Northfleet, trained by her husband, Alan.

1980

Adelaide Cup run at Victoria Park because of facilities renovation as Morphettville.

1981

New members stand at Morphettville opened.

1982

First Australasian Oaks is won by Rose of “Kingston”.

1985

Formula 1 motor car racing was introduced with the inclusion of Victoria Park in the Grand Prix circuit.

1987

The introduction of Sky Channel TV.

1989

“Lord Reims” wins a record third Adelaide Cup.

1994

“Our Pompeii” wins second Adelaide Cup.

1997

“Octagonal” paraded at Morphettville.

Octagonal horse

“Octagonal” ridden by Darren Beadman. Photo provided by Rob Sweeney.

1998

South Australian Thoroughbred Racing Authority (SATRA) takeover the control of racing in South Australia.

1998

Fire: Derby Stand at Victoria Park destroyed in fire.

1999

“Episode” trained by David Hall wins the 3 year old fillies Triple Crown. SATRA leave Morphettville for offices in the City.

2000 - current

2000

SATRA return to Morphettville and are re-named Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) after the industry is corporatised. Following excessive rain Adelaide Cup day is abandoned, and the meeting is re-scheduled at Victoria Park. “Bohemiath” wins.

The Races Horse Logo

2001

The Government agree to sell the TAB. The SAJC undertake major redevelopments to the grandstand and course. The inaugural running of the $400,000 Magic Millions Classic – the State’s richest race. Won by locally owned, “Barossa Broadway”.

2002

The Morphettville Grandstand is re-developed at a cost of $2 million. Morphettville track undergoes complete re-development, the first since its construction. The cost is $4 million. Wetlands are created in the middle of the track.

2003

New artificial training surface, ‘Proride’ is installed at Morphettville.

2005

In an Australian racing first, South Australia’s premier thoroughbred racing track, Morphettville Racecourse, is renamed ‘Allan Scott Park Morphettville’ for a five year term, following the generous sponsorship from Scott Group of Companies.

2007

The last ever race meeting at Victoria Park, December

2009

The last ever race meeting at Cheltenham Park Racecourse was held in February.

Due to the movement of races from Victoria Park and Cheltenham Park to Morphettville, the SAJC required a first-class second surface to maintain the 65 race meetings now scheduled. $3.6 million was spent on the new inner track, which has a circumference of 2100 metres, is 25 meters in width and has a home straight 305 meters in length. The second track at Morphettville Racecourse opened, and the first race meeting on “The Parks” circuit at Morphettville was held on Wednesday 17th June.

The new Winning Post at Morphettville was also constructed, and its hydraulic operating system was the first Winning Post in the world with this development.

2011

After the conclusion of the sponsorship arrangement with Scott Group of Companies, Allan Scott Park returns to its original name of Morphettville Racecourse.

2012

“Black Caviar” makes history at Morphettville Racecourse on 28th April when she wins the Group 1 Sportingbet Classic (registered as the Robert Sangster Stakes), extending her unbeaten streak to 20 consecutive wins.

The Champion Mare cemented her place in the record books with her 21st consecutive win, in the Group 1 Distinctive Homes Goodwood at Morphettville Racecourse two weeks later, on 12th May.

Black Caviar

“Black Caviar” ridden by Luke Nolen . Photo courtesy of Sharon Chapman, Whole Package Photographics.

2013

The South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC) announces the introduction of a new logo for Morphettville. This new Morphettville logo is modern in its presentation, but has hints of nostalgia with the design inspiration driven from the historic SAJC gates, formerly from Cheltenham Racecourse, that are now a proud feature in the Mounting Yard at Morphettville.

Morphettville Logo

History Of Jockeys In SA

As well as producing champion horses such as Tobin Bronze, Comic Court, Rain Lover, Pago Pago, Dulcify and Light Fingers, South Australia has also witnessed some of the sport’s finest ever jockeys ply their trade.

Download the history of Jockeys from South Australia.

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