Racing: Brown's faultless round reaps reward: Britain enjoy a double success as Continental challenge is blunted

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KELLY BROWN ended a 15- year wait for victory in the international arena when she won yesterday's Silk Cut Tankard on Alfredo. She had last won here at the age of 21 when she took first prize riding an Irish-bred horse called Friendship.

Alfredo, also Irish-bred, is one of a new string of horses that Brown has brought up through the ranks with infinite patience. The 10-year-old grey she bought seven years ago incurred 0.25 of a time fault in the opening round, but she was nevertheless lying in second place when the top eight horses jumped again.

Brown appreciated the new rules which made this a two- round competition with the overall score deciding the result. Faultless the second time round, her victory was secure when the Frenchman Herve Godignon on Sarcelle de Sisse (the only horse with a zero score after the first round) made a single error when he reappeared.

Second-round times counted in the case of riders being level leaving Michael Whitaker as the runner-up on Everest My Mesieur, with Godignon third. John Whitaker, who was fourth on the inexperienced Everest Roddy's Revenge, had earlier ridden the great Milton in one of the less fashionable outside rings.

This was Milton's first appearance since injuring himself in the international arena here at the end of May. He will probably have another outing in ring two at this meeting as part of his preparation for the Paris Masters next weekend.

Milton's schedule after Paris has not yet been planned. 'He'll probably be saved for the indoor shows this winter when we can be sure of good ground,' Whitaker said. That could include October's Horse of the Year Show at Wembley as well as the World Cup final at 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands next April.

Nick Skelton won the Silk Cut Challenge on Everest Limited Edition, the horse he plans to ride in Sunday's Derby, which carries the richest prize in the sport in Britain, with pounds 35,000 on offer to the winner. Skelton has to qualify in today's Derby trial - but that should be a formality.

SILK CUT DERBY MEETING (Hickstead): Silk Cut Tankard: 1 Alfredo (K Brown, GB) 0.25 faults, 53.72sec; 2 Everest My Mesieur (M Whitaker, GB) 4, 47.87; 3 Sarcelle de Sisse (H Godignon, Fr) 4, 50.97. Silk Cut Challenge: 1 Everest Limited Edition (N Skelton, GB) 49.77secs; 2 Prince d'Incoville (H Godignon, Fr) 51.59; 3 Everest Cloudchase (G Luckett, GB) 52.20.

(Photograph omitted)