War Jet Flies to Victory in Country Cup
Self-proclaimed “little Aussie battler” Joe Cleary claimed one of the highlights of his training career when War Jet landed the $250,000 Magic Millions Country Cup (1200m) in emphatic fashion at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The Queanbeyan horseman combined with long-time friend, jockey Noel Callow, to claim the lucrative feature with the talented gelding that has now won seven of his 15 starts.

A five-year-old son of War Pass that was initially prepared by Peter and Paul Snowden, War Jet posted a convincing win over Three Sheets and Star Wars.

“I received this horse from Peter Snowden and I think I’ve won seven races with him now,” Cleary said.

“I spotted this race about four months ago and it’s great when a plan comes off.

“Initially Noel was coming up to ride The Cleaner and Noel and I are pretty good mates. When The Cleaner went his separate way I told Noel that he was still coming up to ride this horse.”

While the initial plan was to settle on the speed, Callow said he was forced to improvise after the jump, eventually finding a position on the rail behind the Robert Thompson-ridden leader Three Sheets.

The gelding displayed a strong turn of foot when asked for an effort by Callow, sprinting up the inside to take the lead at the furlong post before sprinting away to an easy win.

“I was going to be more positive if he jumped, either leading if they didn’t go too hard or sitting second or third, but I found myself back behind Robert Thompson which I was happy with because I thought he was on the one to beat,” Callow said.

“I didn’t want to go there (the fence) but I didn’t have any options and when he sprinted, he sprinted pretty hard.

“I had a little look over my left shoulder at about the 100 metres and it was game over.”

War Jet, a son of War Pass, was purchased for $45,000 at the 2012 Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Widden Stud by Richard Stachow.

He is the first winner to date for his dam, the winning Snowland mare Navica - a half sister to outstanding galloper Desert War.