Steve Johnson set to produce another winner

Steve Johnson has bred a host of top flight winners that have earnt millions in stakemoney. But superstar three-year-old Never Ending looks set to end up at the top of the illustrious list.

Johnson has produced 35 winners that have earnt more than $100,000 in stakes during their three decades of breeding.

Graduates from Johnson’s Mardella farm include David Hercules ($1.2mil), Soho Jackman ($370k), Tricky Miki ($350k), Major Martini ($330k) and $200k winners Grinjaro, Bettor Reward, Just Jasper Kerrin Joseph and Destined To Rule.

Never Ending has already won $400k and with next month’s WA Derby seemingly at his mercy, could finish the season well over the half a million dollar mark.

Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice bought the son of Sweet Lou at the 2021 APG Sale for $75,000 and believes he has the potential to go all the way to the top.

Endorsed by Prentice

Prentice is renowned for his ability to produce Group 1 winners, including Fremantle Cup winner Mighty Ronaldo, WA Pacing Cup victor Rocknroll Lincoln and Golden Slipper winners Tricky Miki and Never Ending.

“He definitely has more raw potential than any horse I have had,” Prentice said.

“I chose the horse at the sale. I do a lot of work on breeding and just have a list of criteria I like them to have.”

Never Ending had a minor setback to his WA Derby lead-up when he was scratched from the $50,000 Western Gateway Pace last Friday night with a cold.

Prentice said it was a precautionary measure and would not affect the gelding’s preparation for the derby.

The gelding, driven in all his races by Gary Hall Jnr, already has a swag of silverware, winning the Golden Slipper, Westbred final and The Pearl at two and the Westbred final and The Pearl at three.

He has only been beaten once in 13 starts and took a lifetime mark of 1.54.6 when he won the Battle Of Bunbury on September 27.

He was voted Australian two-year-old of the year in 2022.

A Stellar Pedigree

Never Ending’s sire Sweet Lou has had a monumental season in the US. Producing two three-year-old colts that have earnt more than a $1mil in stakes and taken sub 1.47 race records this year.

He is the leading three-year-old sire with stakes of US$5.6mil to date this season.

Sensational colt Confederate became the fastest three-year-old in history when he stopped the clock at 1.46.2 in Kentucky last month. He has earnt $1.2mil this season and is fancied to take his earnings past $2mil in the upcoming Breeders Crown final.

Another Sweet Lou son – It’s My Show – has earnt $1mil in stakes and taken a 1.46.8 mark this year.

Interestingly, Confederate is out of a mare by a son of Rocknroll Hanover (A Rocknroll Dance) and Its My Show is out of a Rocknroll Hanover mare.

Unbeaten two-year-old filly Geometric is also flying the flag for Sweet Lou. Having eight straight wins on US tracks this season.

Sweet Lou fillies have an outstanding record in WA, with Double Expresso, Zephyra and Water Lou all taking out Group 1 races in recent seasons.

Catch Steve at the 2024 Australian Pacing Gold Sale

Steve Johnson sold the top priced colt at this year’s WA APG sale (Sweet Lou-Invidia) for $140,000.

Johnson has eight yearlings in the March 3 Australian Pacing Gold sale next year. Five colts and three fillies – including a half brother to Never Ending.

There are only two Sweet Lou yearlings nominated for the WA sale next year.