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For several seasons around the World War Two era, Clockwork knocked about the best classes. He was second in an Auckland Cup and placed in other good races but never made the breakthrough to the headlines in spite of all the efforts of trainer Cecil Donald. The spring of 1945 looked like the same old, same old. Clockwork had been off the winning list for a year and while third in the Hannon Memorial in October he had been a long way from the winner.
So far in fact that the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club hardly raised a murmur when it eliminated Clockwork from the New Zealand Cup. That Cup was a spectacular race, won at last by eternal crowd hero Gold Bar.
However, a few days later in the New Zealand Pacing Free-For-All, Ron Donald hunted the despised Clockwork out of the barrier and drove him hard to ensure Gold Bar would not put his usual big break on the field. The plan worked. Gold Bar was never more than a length in front of Clockwork and the veteran ran him down. That was sensational enough because Clockwork was at 35/1. But more was to come.
Clockwork had pushed Gold Bar so hard they had run a new national record for the 2400m of a mile & a half which stood for some years before being equalled but never beaten by the champion Highland Fling. As for Clockwork? Well, he never pushed the watches anywhere near any record times ever again.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed Feb 2016
MR W L PARKINSON
Mr W L Parkinson, a well-known figure in the light-harness sport in Canterbury over a lengthy period, died in Christchurch last week after a long illness.
Mr Parkinson took an early interest in galloping but changed later in trotting, in which department he met with considerable success. One of the best pacers to carry his colours was Clockwork, who held the mile and a half record for several years. Another outstanding pacer raced by Mr Parkinson was Ferry Post, who was considered by many to be the best horse he owned, but unsoundness cut short Ferry Post's career. In more recent years, Mr Parkinson raced the champion 2-year-old, Vivanti, who took almost everything before her at that age, including the NZ Sapling Stakes. Other pacers and trotters to do good service for Mr Parkinson were Steel King, Good Review, Kapeen and Beehive. On his Kaiapoi property, Mr Parkinson also bred several pacers and trotters.
Apart from his interest in trotting, Mr Parkinson was one of the best known stock dealers in the South Island and started dealing at an early age. Born at Saltwater Creek, Mr Parkinson started buying and selling cattle as a boy. By the time he went to World War I, he was a familiar figure at the Addington Saleyards. He celebrated his eighteenth birthday in Egypt and on his return from overseas he resumed his dealing in stock.
Mr Parkinson was one of the most popular figures on racecourses around Canterbury especially, and his delightful sense of humour endeared him to all who new him. Mr Parkinson was 59 and is survived by his wife.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 6Mar57
W E SIMES
Mr Walter Edwin Simes, who died in Christchurch last week, was aged 75. He had been a well-known estate agent and auctioneer since 1900.
Mr Simes had had a long association with trotting, as an owner, breeder and administrator. He was president of the Canterbury Owners' and Breeders' Association about 35 years ago; he was a member of the NZ Trotting Association; and was a steward of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club in 1940-41. Mr Simes was a member of the three Christchurch Trotting Clubs. He joined the Metropolitan Trotting Club in 1905.
Mr Simes was probably better known as a breeders of trotters. He bred a number of high-class performers, many of which he raced himself. He raced a number of horses under the name of M Clarice. The veteran trainer F Holmes, and his son, F G Holmes, prepared most of them. Mr Simes made several trips to the United States and imported Belle McKinney, who left a fine race mare in Muriel de Oro, and other winners in Shirley McKinney and Edna Worthy. She also left Tijuana, the dam of a brilliant pacer in Clockwork, who at one time held the NZ mile and a half winning record of 3.09 4/5.
Mr Simes also bred Masterpiece, a recent winner at Hutt Park. Other good horses he bred included Law Chimes, Jewel Pointer (a successful sire), and Lady Barrister. He also raced good winners in Mystic and Pax.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 24Sep52