The club will race their first and only meeting for the season next Saturday, February 13, with a five-event non-TAB program locked in, which will include the Murilla Cup Open Handicap.
“We will go back and try and win the Cup this year, Neccessitas won the Taroom Cup last week so we will now look towards the Miles Cup coming up,” Johnson said.
“That is the semi-local Cup for us now.”
With Johnson departing his home track recently, local trainer Norma King has taken over his boxes and has around a dozen horses at Miles.
Johnson, who is second on the Queensland country trainer’s premiership this season, had around 30 at one stage at the dirt track.
King also loves to travel the state with her horses, having one nominated for Mackay next Tuesday.
Ahead of next Saturday’s program, president Lance Krause says their race meeting has become a homecoming of sorts for people who have moved away over the years.
“It is a good opportunity, we have found, that ex-locals from the town are able to come back once a year,” Krause said.
“They know it will be a great opportunity to catch up with locals and old friends.
“It has become a bit of a homecoming event, the races.”
Krause’s background is not in racing but landed on the Miles committee with a focus on positive community events and was quickly elevated to the top job.
“I am here for the community event to keep going for the community,” Krause said.
“Little country towns have lost enough as it is, so we need to keep pushing on to try and make sure our facilities are good enough for the racing and good enough for the crowds.
“I enjoy being president, it would be good if we could get more enthusiastic people involved but we have a fairly young committee now, which is good, and hopefully there is a chance for us longer serving members to get a break soon.
“They can come through with some new ideas.”
In the early 2000’s, Miles hosted as many as three race meetings a year, which has been scaled down to just the one these days.
The last two years they have ran two meetings following transfers from other clubs.
Krause thinks they could comfortably run two meetings every year, if they were available to the club, which falls in the Eastern Downs region of the state.
Rachel Kerwick, who is in her 13th year as Miles and District Amateur Picnic Race Club, thinks more racing at the club would be suitable.
“We would like a second day to race every year,” Kerwick said.
There is a family focus at the club, according to Kerwick, as a friend of hers brought her onto the committee over a decade ago.
Kerwick’s late father was also heavily involved with the club before his death.
Brisbane-based jockey Adin Thompson (right) was previously based in Miles when he worked for Johnson as he completed his apprenticeship.
Still only 19 years of age, Thompson has become a consistent rider in the south-east of the state over the last few years.
Johnson’s daughter Dakota Graham is another well-known hoop to come from the town.