Just 10 minutes before Aidan O’Brien announced that Derby favourite Luxembourg would not make it to Epsom next month, he unleashed another prime contender in Stone Age, who was a most impressive winner of the Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Nothing could get close to the son of Galileo, who led from pillar to post for Ryan Moore, and is now the clear favourite for the Derby. In fact, O’Brien now has four of the first seven in the Derby betting, after dominating the trials over the last week or so.

Star Of India, Changingoftheguard and United Nations all won their respective trials with the result that the master of Ballydoyle is priced up at just 7/4 to win his ninth Derby.

“We always felt he was very good,” O’Brien said of Stone Age, who gave him a 15th win in the race more commonly known as the Derrinstown. “He’s a high tempo horse, he’s able to break well, he’s got a high cruising speed, plenty of pace and in all his races he’s always strong at the line.

“We felt he had improved from Navan and I think he can improve more from here to Epsom. He’s a lovely, hardy horse and I don’t think Epsom will be a problem for him.”

It’s 20 years since the Leopardstown trial produced a Derby winner, and Coolmore will be hoping that Stone Age can fare much better than Bolshoi Ballet, who impressed similarly in Dublin 12 months ago before flopping at Epsom.

On Saturday, O’Brien’s son Joseph sent out Tranquil Lady to impressively win the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas. The daughter of Camelot was atoning for a disappointing display at Navan last time and is now just 7/1 for the Oaks.