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After a scary incident at Ballarat a couple of weeks ago, jockey Brian Higgins has been rewarded for his persistence by guiding Sneakers to a city win at Sandown.

Higgins was aboard the Nigel Blackiston-trained filly before a race at Ballarat on April 2 when she played up and reared over in the mounting yard.

“She obviously had some headgear on, a noseband, and she flipped over in the mounting yard,” Higgins said.

“She ended up on top of me.

“I reckon I got a couple of bruised ribs at least, if they’re not broken, and a bit of skin off me but apart from that I’m all right.”

Sneakers was scratched from the Ballarat race because of her antics but Higgins was happy to get back aboard on Monday when she was sent out at $81 in the Elvis “Ricky” Thurgood Handicap (1300m).

“Unfortunately the other day we had a bit of a mishap and she ended up on top of me, but the Blackiston team has done a good job,” Higgins said.

“They stripped off all the gear from her today, and a big thanks to the clerks of the course. They really looked after me today and just kept her moving and it paid dividends because she raced well and won well. So I’m grateful.”

The filly, in her fifth career start and first since minor throat surgery, showed a good turn of foot to win by two lengths from Pedrena with Classic Diva a neck away third.

“Leading into Ballarat we were very happy with her,” Blackiston said.

“She had trialled very well and is a filly with a lot of ability. She certainly has a few temperament issues but we weren’t expecting for that to happen at Ballarat and thank goodness Brian was safe.

“He got away with some bruising so that’s the most important thing, his safety.

“And to come here and get the result today, I’m very pleased for Brian because he was happy to stick with her.

“I don’t think too many riders after her antics on that day would want to get on her back, that’s for sure.”

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