County Kilkenny-based James Anthony Heffernan, who was born on 17 July, 1972, and is universally known as Seamus, has been based at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable since 1996.
Like O’Brien, he gained his grounding at Jim Bolger’s stable and was jointly Ireland’s champion apprentice in 1994. He is no stranger to Classic success and won last season’s Irish Derby on Frozen Fire, two years after landing the Curragh Classic on Soldier Of Fortune.
He also partnered 2001 Oaks winner Imagine to victory in that season's Irish 1,000 Guineas and won the same race last year on Halfway To Heaven. Halfway To Heaven also captured the 2008 Sun Chariot Stakes with Heffernan in the saddle. He also has a 2,000 Guineas triumph to his name, which he annexed in India in 1996. He has partnered m any of the best Ballydoyle horses at some stage of their careers.
Heffernan knows what it is like to have ridden a Derby victor, having partnered Galileo and High Chaparral to win the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial prior to their Epsom triumphs in 2001 and 2002 respectively. He won the Group One Criterium International at Saint-Cloud in October, 2006, on Mount Nelson.
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