Saga just fails in quest for coronation day victory

Saga narrowly failed to give the King and Queen a winner on their coronation day after he was beaten in a photo at Newmarket.

Partnered by Frankie Dettori, the John and Thady Gosden-trained Saga was sent off an 8-1 shot for the Howden Suffolk Stakes.

He travelled well throughout the contest, but Dettori briefly struggled to find a clear passage when the race began in earnest and while Saga made up significant ground in the closing stages of the nine-furlong affair, King Of Conquest had already flown.

Saga was beaten a head at the line, with the four-year-old going down by the same distance when bidding to give the late Queen a final Royal Ascot win in the Britannia Stakes last term.

Dettori said: “Almost! He ran a super race, I couldn’t go when I wanted to and William (Buick) got a couple of lengths on me, but he ran a super race.

“Oh yes (it was a thrill to wear these colours). I watched the whole thing (coronation) this morning, it was pretty special wasn’t it? I know I’m old, but I’ve not seen one before!”

Gosden said: “He ran great. It wasn’t his fault, he didn’t get the gap in time. William (Buick) got first run (on King Of Conquest) and we had to wait to get through and then he ran out of real estate at the end, but he ran a super race.

“He was slightly unfortunate not to get there but it’s nobody’s fault, that’s racing. We’ll probably step up to a mile and a quarter and take it from there.”

The Richard Hughes-trained Candle Of Hope had earlier finished fourth in the same colours in the Listed William Hill Conqueror Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood.