Big Brown, trained by Richard Dutrow Junior, won the second leg of the US Triple Crown on Saturday when destroying the opposition in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Maryland. Big Brown took up the running at the quarter pole and the Boundary-sired colt stormed clear in the closing stages to eclipse Macho Again by some five and a quarter lengths.

It’s now onto Belmont in New York city on Saturday June 7th for the final leg of the US triple crown over 12 furlongs. Stamina shouldn’t be an issue for Big Brown and he’s presently trading at 2/5 to win the ‘Belmont’. If he does so, he will be becoming the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to capture the Triple Crown. Here’s hoping that Big Brown will provide US racing with a boost that it so badly needs at present.

Closer to home, Ballylaneen-born handler Maurice Phelan sent out Aldhaher Beebers to triumph in the FBD Insurance Hurdle at Kilbeggan on Saturday evening.

Aldhaher Beebers, who was fitted with first-time blinkers, took up the running after three out to oblige by seven lengths from Model Athlete. Fittingly, former accomplished amateur rider Phelan also stands Aldhaher Beebers’ sire City Honours at his Bert House Stud outside Athy.

Clonmel this Thursday

There’s racing at Clonmel this Thursday evening (6pm start) and Quintana will surely go close in the Slievenamon Beginners Chase.

This ‘Dusty’ Sheehy-trained son of Fruits Of Love was soundly beaten into third spot on his most recent outing in a two and a half mile conditions hurdle at Cork on May 2nd. Quintana however is a naturally classy sort and whilst this will be his first outing over fences, he’s still recommended to possess too many aces for Salford City.

Takeyourpick is the clear class act in the Cashel Maiden Hurdle. This Gerry Cully-trained gelding won the maximum six point-to-points this season before reverting to the track to contest an extended two miles five furlong amateur riders maiden hurdle at Downpatrick on May 9th. Takeyourpick was ultimately beaten four lengths into second spot by the all-the-way winner Rossgavand. Takeyourpick can recoup the losses that he sustained at the Co Down track by triumphing here from Rolling Wave.

Yorkshire handler David Barron will be despatching a rare runner to Clonmel in the form of Midnight Mystique, who’s entered in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden over 10 furlongs.

Midnight Mystique has already finished second this season and she’s likely to prove marginally superior to Woodland Beauty.

Rochester Falls can vindicate the promise she displayed by finishing third on her most recent foray at Downpatrick by beating Dirtybirdie in the Cahir Handicap whilst Proud Ruler and Titus Academy are a likely pair in the Knockmealdown Handicap.

Grand Corniche can continue trainer Tony Martin’s excellent run by disposing with Borouj in the Powerstown Handicap Hurdle and Willie Mullins’ Watchurhouse should have most to fear from One Chapter One in the Kilsheelan INH Flat Race.