03/12/2003 1:00AM

American 12th at Cheltenham

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The American rider Gus Brown was unsuccessful in his first ride at Cheltenham's National Hunt Festival Tuesday when his mount Saitensohn came home 12th of 19 in the Royal and SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle.

Brown had the 33-1 Saitensohn in contention early in the 2 5/8-mile race before Saitensohn weakened to finish 27 1/2 lengths behind the victorious 6-1 Irish invader, Hardy Eustace. Saitensohn was later placed 11th via a disqualification.

The day's feature race, the two-mile Queen Mother Champion Chase, went to another Irish raider, the 7-4 favorite Moscow Flyer.