Bargain broodmare brings rewards for Beckley

By Peter Wharton

Central Otago breeders Neville and Muriel Beckley have no regrets for outlaying a modest $2,700 for the unraced Man Around Town mare Clock Watcher more than 20 years ago.

“I saw Clock Watcher advertised for sale in the Harness Racing Weekly. Originally I leased her, then I broke her in and trained her,” Beckley, the vice-president of the Roxburgh Trotting Club, said.

Race 1: Tabcorp Park, Saturday 25-3-2023
The Big Screen Company Pace
Winner: Magnetic Terror (6)
Trainer: Andy Gath; Driver: Kate Gath
Race Distance: 2,240 metres, Mile Rate: 1.56.6
photography: Stuart McCormick

“My wife wanted to send her back to her owner but I could see that she had potential so I decided to keep her.”

Clock Watcher won five races and was placed 11 times from 65 starts for $31,390 in stakes and was a mare of above average ability.

Retired to the broodmare barn, Clock Watcher has produced five starters to date, three of whom have emerged successful, all inside 2:00.

Magnetic Watch (by Extreme Three) won five races, earned $45,543 and took a record of 1:54.7, while the four-year-old Magnetic Beckers (by Sportswriter) has won twice and holds a mark of 1:58.1.

However, it is the five-year-old Magnetic Terror (by Terror To Love) – her seventh foal – that promises to uphold her breeding record.

The winner of three races for the Beckley’s, Magnetic Terror was sold to prominent Riverina (NSW) owner Mick Boots earlier this month owing to a lack of racing opportunities in his homeland.

And, the Andy Gath trained gelding set tongues wagging at Melton last weekend when he turned in a barnstorming effort at his debut on Australian soil.

Despite sitting parked throughout, the five-year-old proved a class above his rivals, scoring by a length in a career-best 1:56.6 rate over 2240 metres with the last 800 in a slick 56.4 seconds.

Neville has high hopes for two unraced progeny of Clock Watcher in the three-year-old Magnetic Daughter (by Vincent) and the two-year-old Magnetic Roxie (by Rocknroll Hanover).

“Both are in work with Robin Swain and are showing promise in their early preparation,” he said.

Clock Watcher and her Terror To Love filly foal

To bring Clock Watcher’s breeding record up-to-date, she has a yearling colt by Gold Ace named Magnetic Goldie, a filly foal by Terror To Love and is safely in foal to Tiger Tara.

The Beckley’s are also breeding from one of Clock Watcher’s daughters, Magnetic Chime (by Ohoka Arizona), who has a yearling colt by Sportswriter and a colt foal at foot by Terror To Love. She was served by Sweet Lou last season.

A member of the noted Accident family, Clock Watcher was a half-sister to the NZ and Tasmanian winner Outa Power (2:00), being out of Vested Power, by Smooth Fella from the good producer Armbro Gold, by Armbro Del from the U Scott mare Arahina, a sister to one of NZ’s greatest racemares in Arania and a half-sister to the cup class pacers Local Light and Golcourt, both successful colonial bred sires.