Clarence the Clocker – Speech given by Rick Buckland July 14, 2016

Good afternoon all, my name is Rick Buckland and I am the
grandson of Arthur Thomas Davies, better known as Clarence the

It is with great pleasure that I have been asked to talk to you
about my grandfather and his association with the Moorefield
Racecourse and the colourful career it started for him.

Arthur grew up in Rockdale and as a young man, turned his hand
to many things trying to find his way during the years Depression

One of those things was breaking horses at Arncliffe where a
local trainer, Neville Davis noticed a talent in him and suggested
he clock horses at the Moorefield racecourse.

Arthur took that advice and in 1942 formed a working
association with the future champion horse trainer Tommy
Smith. He became a racecourse clocker timing the pre dawn
gallops of horses in training at the Moorefield track and it was
here that he would pull off his greatest trifecta.

With racing now attracting wide media attention, it was through
his involvement at Moorefield that his underlying skill as a tipster
was realised. His keen eye and sharp wit earned him a column in
the daily telegraph under the banner “The Last Word” and a
short spot on radio 2KYs “First with the Latest” along side Tiger
Black, who was to become a life long friend.

In 1949 the humorous song “The Horse Told Me” was released
by Bing Crosby referring to “Clarence the Clocker.”
This became known as Arthur’s signature tune and in 1956 he
was co-opted into television as host of “The Clarence the
Clocker Show” starting a 25 year relationship with station TCN 9,
owned by the racehorse owner and media entrepreneur Sir
Frank Packer.

Arthur Davies transformation was complete and “Clarence”
became a household name in Sydney racing through the 1960’s.
Introduced for the first ten years of the show by Ken Howard,
the famous broadcaster and then later by Johnny Tapp.
Known as a sharp dresser with his dapper style typified by his
hat, Arthur was popular with female punters and his
unconventional conduct seemed to be his winning formula.

He had a rough diamond quality that appealed to both men and
women with friends from all walks of life. His career ended in
1982 after suffering a couple of strokes and he passed away in
1984 at the age of 71.

Not a bad race for a long shot. The kid who left school at 12, selftaught
in most things and his natural ability with horses
eventually paying dividends. A great piece of local history, kept
alive in Anne Field’s book, and to think it all started at the
Moorefield Racecourse.

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