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Seamie Heffernan, the quiet man of Ballydoyle, gets his Derby reward | Chris Cook

Chances must be seized as the second-string jockey and it seemed as though Heffernan had missed his opportunity in the Derby when beaten on the favourite a decade ago

Chances must be seized when you’re the second-string jockey and it seemed as though Seamie Heffernan had missed his opportunity in the Derby when Fame And Glory was the beaten favourite a decade ago. Not, it should be hastily added, that he did anything wrong that day and in hindsight it was clearly mad of us punters to make Fame And Glory favourite over Sea The Stars, but on Saturday the most quiet of many quiet men at Ballydoyle got due reward for his durability with a first Derby success at the age of 46.

“It was only a matter of time,” he quipped in the post-race press conference. But it was rather a long time, since Heffernan has been part of Ballydoyle for as long as Aidan O’Brien himself, the trainer having been a regular employer since 1996. Almost a quarter of a century later, they scaled racing’s highest peak together.

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