Bartley banking on Sum overdue luck

Group winner Kiss Sum will be out to salvage his spring when he tackles the Festival Stakes.

Kiss Sum has been haunted by his benchmark rating this spring but a victory in the Group 3 Festival Stakes will go a long way towards relieving the pain of his connections. 

A winner of the Gunsynd Classic during the Brisbane winter carnival, Kiss Sum returned with a Golden Eagle goal, but despite his closing fifth in the Silver Eagle, his benchmark rating of 90 failed to get him into the field for the $10 million feature. 

Trainer Tracey Bartley ran into the same conundrum in The Hunter and The Gong, the horse failing to make the cut for either race and at his only other spring run in the weight-for-age Cantala Stakes at Flemington, he ended up on the worst part of the track and finished last. 

"Obviously we were gutted a couple of times, but it is what it is," Bartley said. 

"We just have to get him winning and get his benchmark up." 

Bartley is hoping the horse's fortunes take a turn for the better at Rosehill on Saturday where Kiss Sum looks nicely placed back to handicap conditions in the Festival Stakes (1500m). 

The horse has pleased him since his return from Melbourne and mindful a resounding track gallop four days out from the Cantala Stakes might have taken its toll on Kiss Sum by race day, he has been careful to reign in his trackwork this week. 

"He galloped here on Tuesday morning, just a soft gallop," Bartley said. 

"He's had a trip to Melbourne and back and it's just about making sure he is well and happy within himself and he seems to be really bouncy." 

Kerrin Mcevoy rode Kiss Sum in the Silver Eagle and will be back in the saddle on Saturday. 

The four-year-old has drawn out in barrier 14 but Bartley doesn't anticipate that being an issue if he can find a midfield position three-wide with cover. 

"He looks perfectly placed, I just want to see him perform and get his rating up and hopefully he can get into the Ingham, that's his ultimate aim anyway," he said. 

The $2 million Ingham Stakes (1600m) will be held at Randwick two weeks from Saturday. 

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