Mick Appleby has two darts to throw at the John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes at Ascot on Saturday in Annaf and Juan Les Pins.
Both horses are set to line up for the Group Three sprint and will likely appear at the fore of the market as they come into the contest off the back of solid performances last time out.
Annaf was the winner of the Portland Handicap at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting when last seen, taking the five-and-a-half-furlong event by a short head from Julie Camacho’s Significantly.
The latter horse went on to land the Ayr Gold Cup a week later, solidifying Annaf’s form at the tail end of a season where he has taken on many of the top horses in the division and has been far from disgraced among Group One company.
“He’s held his form all year and he seems in really good order still,” Appleby said of the King’s Stand third.
“He should be going there with a decent chance providing the ground stays good.
“He doesn’t let us down, he doesn’t do much wrong and his form is rock solid, he’d definitely have a very good chance.”
Appleby’s other runner, the six-year-old Juan Les Pins, was an intended runner in the Ayr Gold Cup but sidestepped that contest as the ground came up too soft.
His most recent run, therefore, was a narrowly-beaten effort behind fellow Bengough entrant Commanche Falls in the Listed Garrowby Stakes at York in early September.
“He’s a nice horse and he’s another one in good order,” the trainer said of the gelding.
“We should have run in the Ayr Gold Cup but we bypassed that because of the ground.
“He’d be going there with a decent chance as well but I think Annaf would be the one with the better chance.
“Good ground would suit both of them, Annaf would probably cope better if it went soft than Juan Les Pins would.”