Epsom Derby news: Ryan Moore will "find it hard not to ride" Stone Age says AP O'Brien

Stone Age put in an eye-catching showing in the Leopardstown Derby trial and will be a very tempting pick for Ryan Moore says trainer Aidan O'Brien in the upcoming Cazoo Epsom Derby on June 4.

Aidan O'Brien was impressed as anybody with Stone Age's captivating win in the Leopardstown Derby Trial and says that the three-year-old might be Ryan Moore's pick from the embarassment of Ballydoyle riches.

Moore's ride became free due to ante-post favorite Luxembourg suffering a muscular problem but O'Brien still has various options for the Classic on June 4.

Changingoftheguard, Star Of India and United Nations have all won Derby prep runs in recent weeks and Ballydoyle are absolutely on fire right now.

The most taking victory came from Stone Age at Leopardstown though with the Galileo colt smashing the field and winning by a good five and a half lengths, going straight in as the new Derby favourite.

"I think Ryan would find it hard not to ride the horse from yesterday," O'Brien said during a press morning at his Ballydoyle stables.

"We know the way they'll be ridden - Changingoftheguard will go forward and that would suit the horse that won yesterday.

"The one that won at Chester over a mile and a quarter (Star Of India) will also go forward but he's a little bit lazy, so he might end up tucking in a little bit. The horse that won at Lingfield will go forward as he stays well, Charlie's horse (Natural World) went a good gallop there.

"I'd imagine Ryan will find it hard not to ride Stone Age, but I don't know.

"You'd have had to be impressed with him. You'd have liked something to have led him. There was one that ran at Cork (French Claim) we thought would lead but he didn't, so there was no point in messing him about so we let him bowl along.

"The good thing about him is that he got a lot of experience at two, he was always happy to be dropped in and he learned a lot but we weren't running him to teach him."

He went on: "In all the trials we were very happy to make the running and set a good pace to see whether they were going to stay the trip or not and that's what Ryan did, he bounced them all out and if someone else wanted to lead then great, if not he'd go.

"I've no idea which is the best horse, this is how we find out - they are all bred and reared to be in the Derby. It's very hard to not give a horse a chance.

"I was never worried they (Stone Age and Changingoftheguard) never won at two, not at all. If we wanted them to win at two we could have, but we always treat two as an indication for three.

"That is why Stone Age was contesting all those big races, he even ran in a Group One over seven (furlongs). He had Group form at two, so that was exposing him enough for breeders to see that he was a very good two-year-old.

"He didn't surprise us yesterday, I was delighted with him but we've always liked him and thought he was a very high-class horse. If you go back and look at his two-year-old form, he got beat in a Group race at Leopardstown and was running through the line and it was the same in France over a mile and a quarter in soft ground.

"If you went back through that form, you could see there was always going to be better to come.

"I would never be amazed if any horse wins (the Derby) as there are so many variables and there are so many things that can happen.

"Obviously I'm delighted to have horses that can be competitive, especially with Luxembourg on the sidelines. They've done their trials now and the three-year-olds need to keep improving.

"It's never cut and dried that we know what will happen. We try to have them ready for their races, talk to their riders about trip and track and then everyone has a chat with detail and data and everything.

"We learn at the same time as everyone else. The only time we really find out is when they are put together."

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