Trainer Mick Winters claimed back-to-back runnings of the Guinness Galway Hurdle as dual-purpose mare Missunited struck gold in the hands of Robbie Power. Press Association Power said: “The race worked out 100%. It’s not often things work out in a 20-runner handicap. I jumped off and I got a lovely position. When I gave her smack after the last she quickened up and put her head down. “Mick was very confident, very bullish, and said the ground wouldn’t be an issue. To win the race two years in a row with two different horses is unbelievable.” Winters said: “The mare is Flat-bred and the owner was anxious about letting her take her chance here. I’ve just been terribly lucky to have herself and Rebel Fitz. This one stays and I was confident enough when she hit the front. “It’s super to win it back to back. Last year I had to muck out the next morning but this year I’m prepared and I have a few on to work. “Jason Maguire was asked to ride but he couldn’t do the weight. Martin Ferris did a good job schooling her but the owners wanted someone that was there before. “I had this race mapped out for her for 12 months and now I’d love to see her coming up the hill in Cheltenham. The only mare that I’d be afraid of in the country is Annie Power. “The mare will now go for a Listed race in the Curragh over a mile and three-quarters in two weeks’ time.” The genial County Cork handler landed a gamble 12 months ago with stable star Rebel Fitz, successful over fences earlier on the card, and this year’s challenger was a leading contender at 7-1. Never too far off the pace, the six-year-old scooted clear from the home turn and safely negotiated the final flight to secure victory by three and three-quarter lengths. Flaxen Flare filled the runner-up spot ahead of Make Your Mark and Drive Time, who finished third and fourth respectively.
Manchester City’s Yaya Toure has been named the winner of the English Premier League African Player of the Month for December.The Ivorian midfielder, 33, won the award ahead of other shortlisted nominees Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Alex Iwobi of Arsenal.After being left out of the squad amid talk of a falling out with manager Pep Guardiola, Toure made an entry back into the first team and featured in all of his team’s six games in the Premier League in December. Toure, who has retired from international football and hence not involved in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, had won the monthly award twice since it started in 2014.Meanwhile, Toure is adamant Manchester City can still end the season as Premier League champions even after a humiliating 4-0 defeat by Everton left them 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.The veteran City midfielder insisted his side could mount an improbable rally with 17 matches of the league season left, starting with this weekend’s clash at home to second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.“I think in the Premier League everything is possible,” said Toure. In football you have to be positive. I am a positive guy,” the 33-year-old Cote d’Ivoire star added.“I know it is tough sometimes but you have to accept that and continue to work hard, and we will have the chance. We just have to win a couple of games and everything will come back again.“On Saturday we have an important game. We have to keep going. It is a difficult situation but what we have to do is work hard and try to bounce back.“The league is still long. We have to try to do the business on Saturday and then we are coming back again.”Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas put Everton firmly in control in the opening 46 minutes, before teenagers Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman, with their first goals for the club, completed the rout.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram