Master mimic Conor ‘Sketches’ Moore has faced down golf greats including Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus after hilariously emulating them, but he admits, ‘If I met Ruby Walsh right now, I’d 100% sh*t myself!’
We teamed up with the famed impersonator for the second year running to provide punters with a glimpse into the minds of some of horse racing’s biggest and best-known personalities just days out from the Cheltenham Festival.
The Festival’s favourite characters of the sport, including trainers Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson and father-and-son duo Aidan and Joseph O’Brien, jockey Bryony Frost, racehorse owner and Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, commentator Gerry Hannon and The Racing Blogger feature to name just a few.
Speaking about the process of getting into character, the Mullingar native revealed that record-breaking former jockey and Paddy Power Brand Ambassador Ruby Walsh was by far the most difficult to crack.
“I spent hours listening to an interview he did. I knew this couldn’t be done without Ruby, but it wasn’t easy. I really had to get into character, a bit like how your man Joaquin Phoenix did for The Joker. It took some serious method acting. I walked around for nearly a week scowling and frowning at people. It took a lot of out me!” he joked.
Conor says he met Ruby before, many years before striking it big on global scale for his mimicry. But he has yet to encounter the steely-eyed king of the Cheltenham Hill since embodying the Kildare man for the entertainment of punters.
He adds: “I’ve met plenty of guys I’ve impersonated before like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and survived it. But if I met Ruby Walsh right now, I’d 100% sh*t myself!
Bryony Frost captured the hearts of racing fans last year when she gave a passionate speech about her love for racehorse Frodon, who carried her ‘like Pegasus’ across the winning line in the 2019 Ryanair Chase – making her the first woman to ride a Grade One winner over fences at Cheltenham.
“Capturing Bryony was just about getting her energy and positivity right and turning it into a bit of craic. Hopefully, she enjoys it and doesn’t slap the head off me if I ever meet her,” Conor adds.
Moore explains that he listened to endless hours of interviews and videos of each of the personalities featured in the latest clip.
“I know Gordon Elliott’s, the O’Brien’s and Willie’s yard like the back of my hand at this stage from watching these YouTube videos,” he said.
“I nearly lost my voice a few times practicing Irish racing commentator Gerry Hannon and especially The Racing Blogger. I’d have to take a nap after doing him! Thankfully horse racing is littered with great characters.”
But he reserves a special place in his heart for his favourite racing personality.
“I can’t get enough of watching Nicky Henderson. He’s like a character from Only Fools and Horses. Boycie’s Uncle maybe!”