Loveyamadly has to win the Christmas Stakes at Caulfield on Thursday to continue her summer campaign in next month’s Australia Stakes.
Price said Loveyamadly, one of the favourites for the Boxing Day feature, had pulled up well after her second place in the Doveton Stakes over 1000m behind Vatican on December 7 at Caulfield.
“She hadn’t raced for a while when she ran into Vatican who was very hard and fit on the day,” Price said.
“She’s improved since then and 1200 metres is probably a better distance for her.”
He said Loveyamadly would not back up in the Standish Handicap at Flemington on New Year’s Day but would run at Moonee Valley in the $220,000 Australia Stakes (1200m) on January 24 if she wins on Thursday.
“She’s still lightly raced but very very honest,” he said.
“She will certainly put herself in the finish.”
Price has three other horses racing on Thursday and is optimistic about the future for unraced two-year-old filly Sebring Lane who makes her debut in the Joe Brown Plate (1000m).
He said the daughter of Golden Slipper winner Sebring was still green and learning but was above average.
“She is a sharp filly with a future,” he said.
“She has a fair bit of improvement to come but at the moment she’s not tough and robust.
“It’s just a matter of what she does under pressure.”
Price is not so upbeat about Vicario in the Allan Wicks Handicap (1200m), saying her last in the Doveton Stakes was a terrible performance with no excuses.
“If she runs like that again I’ll be putting her in the paddock,” he said.
“She is good enough to win, her work is good but she needs to run first or second or she’ll be going to the paddock.”
His final entry, Cottonwood Grove, jarred up after her December 11 fifth at Caulfield and is in the same boat as Vicario – she needs to run at least a place in the Ken Sturt Handicap (2000m) or Price will also send her for a break.