MAJOR JUMBO has what it takes to defy a big weight in the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday.
Kevin Ryan's speedster has been holding his own in Group company this term and will be towards the top of the handicap this weekend.
But a welter-burden has been no barrier to success in this race in the past; the cream often rises to the top.
Indeed, Ryan's stable stalwart Brando carried 9-10 to win this race in 2016 before Donjuan Triumphant repeated the feat under 9-10 in 2017.
Major Jumbo ended 2018 with a win in a big York handicap and he has taken his form to another level this term.
He chased home the likes of Mabs Cross, Invincible Army and Ten Sovereigns in some of the top European sprints earlier in the year and he gained a deserved success when an authoritative winner of a Chester Listed race last month.
He was beaten a touch over four lengths by stablemate Hello Youmzain in the Haydock Sprint Cup last time, but he comes up just short at the top level and he ran better than the bare result besides.
This is a big drop in grade, and if the ground remains in the current Good to Soft range that will be ideal.
Richard Fahey has confirmed Mr Lupton will run on Saturday, meaning Major Jumbo will carry 9-8.
Ayr Gold Cup betting advice
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The five-year-old is a straightforward ride (he has been partnered by four different apprentices over the years) so it would be no surprise were Ryan to choose to claim off him here.
He near-enough sets the standard in a contest which his trainer targets religiously (he has won the race four times since 2007) and bar the antepost favourite Buffer Zone there don't appear to be any up-and-coming handicap blots among the entries.
Stick with proven class this year.