Tricky Miki wins Golden Nugent bred by Steve Johnson.

By Gary Newton

The Golden Nugent was first run in 1981 at Gloucester Park when Victorian Justin Hanover cross the Nullarbor to take what would become over the years Australia’s premier four-year-old race.

Since its initial running 42 years ago some of Australia’s best four-year-old pacers have added their name to the honour list, names such as Classic Gary, Sinbad Bay, Westburn Grant, Saab, Lombo Pocket Watch, The Gold Ace, Im Victorious, Libertybelle Midfrew, Soho Tribeca, Ultimate Machete and Shockwave.

Tricky Miki (Always Be Miki- Harriet Elizabeth) added his name to the honour roll when he led all the way to beat a quality field in the 2023 version at Gloucester Park on December 15.

Bred by one of West Australia’s leading breeders Steve Johnson out of his homegrown Modern Art mare Harriet Elizabeth, who won 11 races and was Group placed when runner up in the West Bred Classic as a three-year-old.

Tricky Miki was offered at the 2020 APG Perth sale and knocked down to trainer Justin Prentice for $57,500.

Tricky Miki’s granddam Jane Elouise (Beach Towel) was also bred by Johnson from a Atashy mare called Shy Amazon who he purchased from Tasmania.

Steve Johnson was born at Epping (Victoria), he grew up around horses and made his first foray into harness racing as a teenager. 

Attending a dispersal sale of Charlie Dickson’s Red Shadow Stud at Canowindra (NSW) with the intention of buying one horse, Johnson came home with two.

Tilga Park, a daughter of the Inter Dominion heat winner Double Adios, was Steve’s introduction to breeding. She left four winners including a fine racemare in Cap Sensitive, who began her career in Victoria and, when Steve later relocated to Western Australia, was successful at Gloucester Park and the old Richmond Raceway track situated at East Fremantle. 

Cap Sensitive went on to leave $200,000 winner Just Jasper.

Johnson’s bred former WA horse of the year David Hercules, who won 39 races including 13 at Group level and $1,263,159 in prizemoney.

A full brother to Tricky Miki is part of Johnon’s draft of seven yearlings catalogued for Perth APG sale on March 3 next year.

Tricky Miki- Maddison Brown (Photo by Pacepix)