The above question is one that I’ve fielded a lot over the last six months, and I’m delighted to finally provide some insight into this developing enterprise.
At its most basic, Thoroughbred Racing Commentary (TRC, please) is a website for people around the world who live and love this sport. It is rooted in the principle that we have much to learn from one another, and that racing can be improved if wisdom from other jurisdictions is considered. Although circumstances differ, similar situations abound, and issues such as building the fan base, distributing prize money, and increasing safety for participants have near universal relevance.
TRC is not, and was never intended to be, your one-stop-shop for racing and sales results or breaking news. The idea has always been to take a longer, broader view on current events and leave the daily reporting to the outlets that already do it very well.
Our articles fall into eight sometimes-overlapping categories: Racing, Breeding, Sales, Owners & Trainers, Racecourses, Regulatory & Wagering, Technology, and Aftercare. We also have a Commentary section, which is devoted to TRC staff opinions. In order to cultivate a truly international perspective, we have a team of three editors (myself in New York, former Racing Post editor-in-chief Chris Smith based in London, and award-winning racing journalist Paul Haigh based in Kuala Lumpur), and a worldwide network of freelance journalists and experts we seek to broaden further still.
A word on our contributors, who represent some very sharp minds from around the world and without whom we could not exist. Although today is our first day of publication, the stories you already see on TRC represent the standard of writing we’re looking for. Above all, we hope to recruit people who care deeply about Thoroughbred racing and can articulate that passion accordingly.
In the coming months, we’ll tackle a range of issues both serious and fun, introduce some regular features, and, we hope, make the world of racing a little bit smaller and more accessible.
But, that’s not all. In keeping with our goal of trying to make the global racing industry smaller, we’ve developed a pair of databases aimed at helping people learn more about racing around the world. TRC’s Calendar lists graded stakes races, sales, and a variety of other events, while our Industry Resources section collects information on racing-related organizations, educational programs, aftercare groups, libraries, museums, grants, and more. We want these to be living resources, so please email us if you think a worthy addition has been overlooked.
Since we enjoy reading the good stories on racing that others are writing, too, we’ll link directly to some select, non-TRC content on our Global News page.
One final note – although informed criticism of policy and practice is essential to any good debate, incessant negativity is not. In racing, we feel there is far too much of the latter and not nearly enough of the former. TRC aims to be a positive voice, which is to say one aimed at fomenting meaningful change rather than contributing to the shrill aspersion that draws attention to problems, but does little to help solve them.
This piece serves as only a partial answer to the question of what TRC is, because today is Day One and we know there’s a long road ahead. We have goals, aspirations, and plans, but to realize them we need your help. Visit, read, comment, Tweet, Facebook, email – let us know what you think about what we are writing, and what we should be. We’re listening.