O'Brien aims at Festival highlight

The Australian Guineas shapes as a highlight of the 2010 Melbourne Festival of Racing following the closure of nominations with Racing Victoria.

A total of 97 horses, including the sport's brightest young stars, have been entered for the Group 1 mile which showcases the nation's best three-year-olds on 6 March at Flemington.

Trainer Danny O’Brien has seven nominations for $750,000 race including rising stars Rockferry, pictured above, and Spacecraft.

It’s an exciting race given Tatts Cox Plate winner So You Think and runner-up Manhattan Rain are nominated as is free-running Caulfield Guineas star Starspangledbanner.

Others nominated to return from the Caulfield Guineas are runner-up Carrara, fourth placegetter Extra Zero, and star Sydney colt Denman who finished seventh.

“It promises to be an excellent race given the strength of the nominations and we will be excited if a couple of our horses can prove they are up to this class in the coming weeks,” O’Brien said.

The Flemington trainer’s other nominations for the race are lightly raced three-year-olds At The Heads, Eraset, Rock Face, Vada Rosso and Wartorn.

Late nominations for the Australian Guineas, a set weights race, close at 12 noon on Tuesday, 19 January, with first declarations on Tuesday, 16 February at 12 noon and final declarations on Wednesday, 3 March at 9am.

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