Los Angeles put himself in the Derby picture with victory in the Cashel Palace Hotel Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown.

The Camelot colt was unbeaten at two, winning a Tipperary maiden and then bowing out for the season at the top level when taking the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud in October.

He returned to action as one of two Aidan O’Brien-trained horses in the Leopardstown Group 3, starting as the 4/5 favourite under Wayne Lordan as Declan McDonogh took the ride on stablemate Euphoric.

After racing in midfield, the three-year-old began to progress as the race reached the halfway stage and challenged for the lead two furlongs from home.

From there he edged past Euphoric on the inside rail and held off Dermot Weld’s Taraj to prevail by a length and shrink his price for the Derby from 20/1 to 10/1 with Coral.

Aidan O’Brien’s stable representative Chris Armstrong said: “It was great to get him out. Obviously he won his maiden first time in Tipperary and then stepped up quickly enough to the race in France.

“Both his runs last year were on an easier surface, so it’s great to get him out here. He’s carrying a bit more condition and the run is going to bring him on a ton.

“When he steps up again to a mile and a half he’ll improve and he’s right now bang in the Derby picture. He’s very exciting.

Euphoric to improve

“The second horse ran a cracker as well and once he goes up in trip again he’ll improve a lot. The second horse is a very solid horse.”

Of the winner, Armstrong added: “He only had the two runs under his belt at two, which came in quite quick succession.

“I’d say he’s still quite raw and he’ll come on mentally and physically. He’s one to look forward to for the Derby.

“He’s got the pedigree. He’s by Camelot, where he gets the stamina.

“He’s a big horse but he’s a beautiful mover and he’s got the right mind. You could see him walking around the paddock beforehand, absolutely chilled and he has the same attitude at home.

“Camelot obviously went around there (Epsom) no problem and this horse has a lot of his good sire traits. He can travel away and the big improvement will be when he goes up to the mile and a half.”