Wokingham receives lip service

Oaks-winning trainer Ralph Beckett hopes to plunder another major prize in the Flat calendar as Lipocco represents the Hampshire handler in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

The Piccolo gelding improved throughout 2007 and returned to action with a promising run behind Golden Jubilee hopeful Balthazaar’s Gift in Listed company at Windsor.

He will shoulder 9st 4lb in the six-furlong cavalry charge but is 5lb better off than his new mark suggests he should be.

Beckett said: “We’re all set and ready to roll and his form seems to have worked out well.

“He ran better than we could have hoped for first time back on ground he doesn’t really like and he would appear to have a good draw in 11 – although that can change each day.

“If the ground stays quick it should suit him and we’d hope he’ll keep improving this year.

“He’s in good form and has shown us previously that he handles Ascot so he ought to be thereabouts with a bit of luck.

“The straight track seems to be riding pretty quick but I wouldn’t be too worried by the ground – every time I run him on ground softer than I think he likes he tends to run very well anyway.”

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