Snoopy in top form

Snoopy Loopy is suffering no side-effects as his busy season continues in the Stan James King George VI Chase on December 25.

Snoopy Loopy is suffering no side-effects as his busy season continues in the Stan James King George VI Chase on December 25.

Trainer Peter Bowen is trying to capture the Order of Merit and Snoopy Loopy has established a clear lead with wins in the Betfair Chase and thoroughly respectable places in the Hennessy Gold Cup and most recently the Peterborough Chase.

His form prompted Bowen to supplement for the Kempton highlight at a cost of £10,000 (€10,600), and the Welshman reported: “He did three canters on Saturday with our amateur, Donal Devereux, and worked really well so all is on target at the moment."

Conditions were drying slightly at the King George venue on Monday.

Clerk of the course Brian Clifford said: “We have a good cover of grass and the chase course is good, while the hurdles course is good, good to soft in places.

“It will be getting colder from Boxing Day into the second day.

“I will have to have a meeting with staff on Christmas Eve about covers but from the forecasts I have received today, we should not have to do anything - although the take-off and landing sides of the fences will be covered as a precaution.

“Snoopy Loopy certainly deserved the chance to be supplemented and I think Air Force One must be a big danger. It’s a shame War Of Attrition isn’t going to run, as I was hopeful when Mouse Morris came over to walk the course last week.

War Of Attrition will instead line up in Sunday’s Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

The 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero has enjoyed a successful return following a two-year absence, scoring on his first two starts before running a creditable third in the John Durkan at Punchestown.

“We’ve decided we’re going to stay at home,” said Co. Tipperary handler Morris.

“The ground is just soft at the moment (at Leopardstown) rather than heavy and the forecast is good so we are taking our chance that is correct.

“Basically we are sticking to plan A and this is the race he went for the year he won the Gold Cup so hopefully we can follow that route again.

“It was six of one and half a dozen of the other and he has to beat them wherever he goes so we’ve decided to go to Leopardstown.”

Clifford, a former jump jockey, will be kept especially busy as trainer Noel Meade has asked him if he will give Harchibald a spin on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

He is preparing to win back the Stan James Christmas Hurdle he last claimed in 2004.

“He’s coming over here tomorrow, and I’ll be getting a bit closer to him than usual,” Clifford added.

“I seem to get asked to ride far better horses now than when I was riding myself!”

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