Catching Up with Hayley Moore @hayleyjanemoore by @NiamhTownsend - NAPSLEAGUE


Catching Up with Hayley Moore @hayleyjanemoore by @NiamhTownsend

Catching Up with Hayley Moore

A regular face on At The Races and with one of the brightest personalities in the sport, Hayley Moore is an immensely popular icon within the racing world. As her dad, Gary Moore, is a renowned trainer, and her three brothers have all made their names as jockeys, it is no wonder that Hayley has found herself in the industry, but paving her own way as a presenter for At The Races. I was lucky enough to spend a day with her at Brighton racecourse last week and she very kindly agreed to answer a few questions about herself and how she found herself regularly with a microphone in hand standing in front of a camera. 

How did you decide you wanted to be a TV presenter?

I suppose it was after a good few things there was the opportunity. When I was younger I thought it would be really cool to cover a sport that I really enjoyed and was passionate about. So from the age of about 14, I did a bit of work experience at the racing channel and then from there started working behind the scenes and built up from work experience to making the tea, and going through that process. I knew I wanted to be involved in horse racing from watching it on the TV, watching my brothers, watching my dad's horses, so I suppose that's how it came about really, by just being quite involved and watching our runners and my brothers.

Were there any particular horses when you were younger that caught your imagination or any people you aspired to be like?

Weirdly I watched the Breeders Cup, I think I enjoyed staying up and watching the Breeders Cup because it meant that I could stay up late since the Americans are behind us, when you're a kid you'll come up with any excuse to go to bed late! And basically, I was watching Cigar win at the Breeders Cup. So I just thought that this horse was amazing so I got a picture of him and put it up on my bedroom wall and then when I was old enough I actually flew out to Kentucky and I went and visited him at the Horse Park just before he passed away. Cigar was the horse that when I was quite young I just remember watching him and thinking, 'wow, what an amazing horse!' He was brilliant, and he was an international superstar in the horse world so he was a horse that I was really captivated by when I was a kid. Another horse I really liked was the horse for the Godolphin team that won the Derby, Lammtarra. That was the next horse that I just thought was unbelievable. So those few horses, I found them really quite influential. And then, of course, there was good old Desert Orchid as well. On my pony, I would always pretend I was on one of them! I guess that the rider, it always would have been Frankie Dettori because he was such a big character and riding winners all the time. So, Frankie Dettori, and Lammtarra – all the big names!

Cigar wins the Breeders' Cup Classic in 1999, he was one of Hayley's favourite horses. Photo from Blood-Horse

What is your favourite racecourse and what do you like so much about it?

I just don't think that you can beat Ascot; that would probably be my favourite one. And then Brighton, because it's my local track that I've grown up on and it's just been really enjoyable, having started off from a youngster going racing there, watching my dad's horses racing there, riding there, so Brighton as well.

So, are you excited for the new Sky Racing format to pick up Ascot in the New Year?

Yeah, definitely. I used to work in the gallery when we covered Ascot before and I just thought that the presenters and the producers did a really good job of covering Ascot so I was quite shocked and gutted when we lost it when I worked behind the scenes. They did a really good job of covering Royal Ascot and when I heard we were getting it back I wasn't surprised because I just thought that we've got a bigger audience and the job that we did before was actually very good. Racing UK have done a great job of covering it, but hopefully it will be available to more people to watch so I'm really pleased about getting that back because everyone in the racing world just wants to be a part of running their horses at Royal Ascot and it's one of the biggest weeks in the racing calendar, so it's great that we're going to be covering it.

What is your favourite racing memory?

It would be riding a winner at Ascot on board Captain Ramius on King George day, that was a really enjoyable day. It was a race that I'd always wanted to win and the race went to plan. It was just brilliant to go back to the winner's enclosure at Ascot on such a big day. That meant a lot to me and I was just really thrilled to win a race that I'd always wanted to win. 

Hayley winning at Ascot on King George day in 2011 with Captain Ramius. Photo from Zimbio

What aspect of your career have you been particularly proud of?

I suppose getting out and about on course and presenting for At The Races. I've had some really good, fun days, some good interviews and chats with jockeys that I've really enjoyed and walked away from and thought, 'I can be proud of that'. Just going out and becoming a broadcaster, doing it from the other side instead of riding or traveling up.

Are there any moments on air when you have had to improvise or think on your feet?

Yes, there's been quite a few! Just short moments where I haven't got communication back with the gallery so I've just kind of filled it out for a bit and hoped that my timing was about right before throwing back to them. And then there's been the odd moment where I've gone to speak to someone and they're not ready or they're busy doing something and instead of giving up or not speaking to them I just keep talking and hope that I can bide a bit of time until they're ready to speak to me. So there's plenty of those moments as well!

What do you tend to do in your spare time?

I do a lot of running. I ran my first marathon in April at Brighton which was really good. It was good to have that focus and be dedicated and disciplined away from horses. I like to play a bit of tennis and then obviously doing a bit of eventing which is still horse related but a different kind of area. So yeah, a lot of exercise really. I play around with Sire De Grugy and then I've got another ex-racehorse as well that's just been retrained to do a bit of low-level eventing, so that's really nice. It keeps me busy.

What career do you think you would be doing if you hadn't become a TV presenter?

I would have loved to have been involved in the theatre. That's my passion away from racing. I like going to watch things that take place in the theatre, whether that's an opera, a musical, or something like stand-up comedy. I just love the theatre, you can just switch off and escape and it's just quite a nice thing to go and do. I think I probably would have liked to work behind the scenes at a theatre.

What is your favourite race meet to go to and why?

Favourite race meet would probably be the Tingle Creek meeting at Sandown at the beginning of December because it's an exciting time of year, you've normally got a good race to look forward to, you've got a big handicap to look forward to, and it's also quite Christmassy, you've got the build-up to Christmas so it's just quite a fun time of year. It's a festive afternoon and lots of fun, just a nice time of year really since Christmas is just around the corner and you've got some really good racing on that day.

Sire De Grugy won the Tingle Creek Chase twice and is now enjoying his well-deserved retirement. Picture from 

 Course Specialist

Do you prefer the flat or jumps season?

So, in the height of the flat season, I don't want to see any jumping. I love the middle of Royal Ascot, all of the festivals that I think we do really well like Goodwood and big events like the Derby, and I couldn't think of anything better than flat racing. But then, this time of year I know we've still got the Leger to go but I'm just really ready for the jumps to come back, all of my dad's jumpers are back in and they're just familiar faces, they're lovely and big and it's just an exciting time of year and I want the jumps back. And then in the height of the jumps season, I just don't want to see a flat race! 

With the jumps season coming up very quickly, are the vibes all good from home? Do you think your dad will have some nice winners this year?

Yes, we've got a really nice bunch of some new horses coming in. We need to get a new stable star to replace Sire De Grugy and Ar Mad, both horses that have been amazing or are sadly not with us. We just feel like we've got some really nice ones.  Benatar looks really well and he's been jumping out of his skin, so hopefully, he'll be pretty competitive this year and we'll have a bit of luck with him. You need the good horses to give you that encouragement, otherwise, it's quite a long season – it's a long winter if you haven't got those stable stars! Hopefully, we've got some nice new ones coming through, we've bought some horses from Ireland and France, we get them anywhere and if we think they're the right ones we'll get them wherever as long as they're the right horses. It is a really exciting time of year as long as it all comes together!

A bit of fun now - if you were holding a dinner party and you could invite four people from anywhere in the world, who would you pick?

That's really hard, four people… I would have Usain Bolt, I really like Usain Bolt, I know that's random, but he is cool. I would also have James Corden because I think he's hilarious, George Ezra and, umm… This is great fun so far. I would have Cameron Diaz. Those would be my four people. I think that would be an amazing dinner party. 

And finally, what would your advice be to anyone who wants to go down a similar career path to yours?

Don't be afraid to work from the very bottom up and believe in yourself and have confidence because it can be a very intimidating world to go into, but if you're passionate about what you're doing then it's a great career to go down. Just give it a bit of time.

Thank you very much for your time, Hayley!