Tom Queally

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Tom Queally
Occupation Jockey
Born (1984-10-08) 8 October 1984 (age 32)
Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland
Career wins 690 (ongoing, GB & Ireland only)
Major racing wins

Golden Jubilee Stakes (2009)
July Cup (2009)
Nassau Stakes (2009, 2010)
Champion Stakes (2009, 2010, 2012)
Eclipse Stakes (2010)
Yorkshire Oaks (2010)
Prix Vermeille (2010)
Dewhurst Stakes (2010)
2,000 Guineas Stakes (2011)
St. James's Palace Stakes (2011)
Falmouth Stakes (2011)
Sussex Stakes (2011, 2012)
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2011)
Lockinge Stakes (2012)
Queen Anne Stakes (2012)
International Stakes (2012)
Matron Stakes (2012)

Breeders' Cup wins:
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (2009)
Racing awards
Irish flat racing Champion Apprentice (2000)
British flat racing Champion Apprentice (2004)
Lester Award (2004, 2009)
Significant horses
Frankel, Midday, Twice Over

Thomas P. Queally (born 8 October 1984 in Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland) is a Thoroughbred horse racing jockey. He is best known as the regular jockey of Frankel. He was first jockey to leading trainer Sir Henry Cecil. Queally is best known for his association with the Cecil-trained pair Midday and Frankel.


The son of Declan Queally, who trains a small string of Thoroughbreds in County Waterford, Queally attended to Dungarvan Christian Brothers School. He earned his first win on 13 April 2000 at Ireland's Clonmel Racecourse. 2009 was Tom Queally's breakthrough year, in which he won his first of five Group One races aboard Art Connoisseur in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. By 1 August, aboard Midday, he was winning his fourth Group One event, the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood; and on 7 November he again rode Midday to victory in the richest win of his career, the US$2 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita in California.

Queally told the Daily Mail newspaper he owed his breakthrough success to trainer, Henry Cecil.[1]

Riding career[edit]


The son of Irish trainer Declan Queally, the young Thomas was a southern area pony racing champion in Ireland and, aged 15, recorded his first win as a jockey on Larifaari at Clonmel on 13 April 2000.[2] Apprenticed to the yard of Pat Flynn, Queally was crowned Irish champion apprentice in his first year riding in 2000 with 28 winners. However, his parents believed that he should finish his schooling before turning to racing full-time, a view that led to relations between the Queally family and Flynn deteriorating to the extent that the Irish Turf Club was forced to intervene, terminating the apprenticeship a year early. Queally later reflected on the decision by his parents to encourage him to complete his education. "'It is very hard to do a man's job when you are a boy,' he said. 'If I had kept going, my claim would have been diminishing quicker than my experience was rising. I might have disappeared.'[3] After finishing his education, Queally joined the yard of the leading Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, for whom he had been riding out at weekends whilst still at school.

A shock win in the 2003 renewal of the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes on Balestrini (beating O’Brien’s supposed first-string, the Derby hope Alberto Giacometti) could have been the springboard to success, however with only 11 winners on the board at a strike-rate of just 3% by late 2003, Queally informed O’Brien that he would look to try to further his career abroad.[4]

Queally had ridden a winner for trainer David Elsworth when in England for a few weeks in January 2003 and his return to the UK (after a stint as a work rider both in the USA and New Zealand) was an instant success as, attached to the yard of legendary gambler and trainer Barney Curley, he took the apprentice title in his first full season in the UK in 2004 with 59 winners (66 in the calendar year).

Association with Henry Cecil[edit]

After riding 59 and 88 winners in 2006 and 2007 respectively, Queally recorded his maiden century in 2008, a year that also saw the beginning of his association with Newmarket-based trainer Sir Henry Cecil.

Queally rode more winners for Cecil (18) than for any other trainer in 2008[5] and, having seemingly been second jockey (behind Ted Durcan) to the trainer throughout the year, he was given the ride on Twice Over in the Champion Stakes, a move that appeared to herald a change in the pecking order, as the horse had been ridden by Durcan on four of his previous five starts that season.

Though never under contract as a stable jockey, Queally became first jockey to Cecil in 2009. He won three Group 1 races for Cecil that season, though his first two successes at the highest level came for other trainers. Firstly, Art Connoisseur for Michael Bell in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on 20 June 2009, a ride which he came in for due to the unavailability of Bell’s two principal riders through suspension (Jamie Spencer) and injury (Hayley Turner),[6] and then Fleeting Spirit for Jeremy Noseda in the Group 1 July Cup at Ascot the following month.

However, it was the Group 1 successes that followed for Midday in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita, along with the victory of Twice Over in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket in between, that meant the most to Queally. After the latter’s win, he said, "'It's Henry who has given me the big push. He has given me the chance to rise that extra couple of steps up the ladder. To be part of his success is something special. I have learned loads from him, the things he can tell you after years of experience.[7]

Queally’s association with Midday (who had finished a close 2nd in the Oaks the previous year) and Twice Over continued in 2010, with the horses providing Queally with five Group 1 victories, though Midday finished 2nd when bidding for a second win in the Filly and Mare Turf on her return to the Breeders’ Cup. By then, the two-year-old Frankel had burst on to the scene, winning his first three starts (including the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot) before running away with the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, part of a Group 1 double on the card for Queally and Cecil - the first for the trainer in his 40-year career - with Twice Over winning the Champion Stakes.

Immediately after the race, Frankel was shortened to odds-on favourite for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket the following May, with Queally labelling him "A superstar…very special".[8]

After winning easily on his comeback race at Newbury on 16 April 2011 (the Group 3 Greenham Stakes), Frankel was sent off an odds-on favourite to win the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket a fortnight later.

Having been expected to take a lead off his pacemaker in the race, Queally made all on Frankel to win by six lengths, the widest margin of victory since Tudor Minstrel in 1947. Speaking after his first Classic win, Queally said, ""He’s made a show of them. The one thing this horse does is gallop - I didn't want to disappoint him, I wanted him to do what he enjoys and he showed them. The first thing you think is what speed are we going, because to him it feels like a cruising canter. He quickened up and went away."[9] However, the plaudits for his tactics at Newmarket turned to criticism after Frankel’s next start at Ascot, in the St James's Palace Stakes, where despite initially settling behind a strong pace set by his stablemate Rerouted, Queally sent Frankel to the lead well before the home turn and only just hung on to win. Both trainer and jockey professed their surprise publicly at the criticism, with Queally dismissing claims the horse was tiring due to the unusual race tactics. "He was starting to get a little fed up as he just does it so easily. He's growing up all the time." Cecil confirmed he was satisfied with the ride given by Queally, stating, "The plan was to go before the bend and he sprinted away, but now he's getting wiser and when he thought he had the race won, he thought he'd done enough".[10] After the controversial tactics that led to the narrow victory at Ascot, Frankel was ridden to victory from the front in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, though Queally played down his role in the win, saying, "He was amazing and I’m just very fortunate to be playing a small part in it."[11] Further Group 1 victories for Queally and Cecil followed (Timepiece in the Falmouth Stakes and the evergreen Midday winning a third Nassau at Goodwood); but in the aftermath of Frankel’s easy win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (British Champion Mile), in which the horse lived up to his billing as the star attraction of the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day, Queally was in no doubt about what had made his year, saying, "This is the people´s horse now. If someone asked me to sum up my season, it would be one word, Frankel."[12] Queally finished 2011 with 100 winners and over £2,500,000 in prize-money.

In June 2012, Queally rode Frankel to the second and most devastating of his five Group One successes of the year: the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, again over one mile, by 11 lengths.[13] Stepped up to ten furlongs, Frankel cemented his reputation as one of the best racehorses of all time, in the International Stakes at York (22 August) and completed his career by winning the Champion Stakes. Queally enjoyed one other Group One triumph during 2012, riding Chachamaidee for Cecil to victory in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown (8 September).

After the retirement of Frankel at the end of the 2012 season, and following Cecil's death in the spring of 2013, Queally has continued to ride for the stable, now led by the trainer's widow Lady Jane Cecil. For her he rode the winner of the Ebor Handicap at York (24 August).


  1. ^ Marcus Townend (2009-10-19). "Jockey Tom Queally: I owe my breakthrough success to huge influence of Henry Cecil | Mail Online". London: Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Results from the 3.00 race at CLONMEL (IRE) - 13 April 2000". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  3. ^ Marcus Townend (2009-10-19). "Jockey Tom Queally: I owe my breakthrough success to huge influence of Henry Cecil | Mail Online". London: Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  4. ^ "News Story from". Brough Scott. 2006-11-09. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  5. ^ "Jockey Tom Queally - Records - Statistics - Horses". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  6. ^ Horse Racing (20 June 2009). "Royal Ascot: Art Connoisseur grabs Golden opportunity: Horse Racing". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  7. ^ Marcus Townend (2009-10-19). "Jockey Tom Queally: I owe my breakthrough success to huge influence of Henry Cecil | Mail Online". London: Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  8. ^ Greg Wood (16 October 2010). "Twice Over and Frankel give Henry Cecil Group One double at Newmarket | Sport |". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  9. ^ GMT (2011-04-30). "BBC Sport - Henry Cecil's impressive Frankel wins 2,000 Guineas". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  10. ^ Will Hayler at Ascot (14 June 2011). "Frankel hangs on to win the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot | Sport |". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  11. ^ "Glorious Goodwood: Frankel crowned the king in the Sussex Stakes | The Stable View". 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  12. ^ "Frankel". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  13. ^ "Frankel". The Daily Telegraph. London. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-19.