It was little surprise to hear bookmakers and northern-based trainers welcome the news that Newcastle and Catterick are eyeing up all-weather racing in 2015 and beyond, but a few questions concern me.
None more so than where are all these all-weather horses going to come from?
We seem to have enough trouble filling the races at our four all-weather tracks as it stands - there was a three-runner nursery at Southwell today - and that would be the major issue for me.
Of course, small fields are also a major problem in National Hunt racing at the moment. In fact, it is an issue of far more concern in that sphere than on the all-weather, as Saturday's Cheltenham card again underlines.
Three of the Channel 4 races have attracted only a combined total of 18 runners - none of the these races offering three places for each-way punters - and the £20,000 novice chase on the card has only got four entries.
So it won't come as a big surprise to hear me say that betting opportunities look pretty thin on the ground at Cheltenham.
I get the distinct impression that the Paul Nicholls camp expect Zarkandar, with the blinkers back on, to give The New One more of a run for his money than odds of around 5/2 imply. But backing in a virtual match makes no appeal to this column.
And, likewise, I think the Ditcheat team have fair claims in the other two races in the shape of Saint Roque and Salubrious. However, there is not much of a betting edge to be had here, either.
Cheltenham 14:25 - Double Ross and Sew on Target
So thank heaven for the 13-runner The Stewart Family Thank You Gold Cup. Even this may not have the numbers of past renewals, but it is no less competitive for it.
It is easy to make a case for about six or seven, which indicates that stakes should be kept low, but my two against the field at the prices are the lightly-weighted pair of Double Ross and Sew On Target.
Double Ross beat Attaglance by one-and-three-quarter lengths at Perth three starts ago, and is actually 4lb better off with that shorter-priced rival today.
And Double Ross has since gone on to run two good races. He ran well in a hot Chepstow novice in October - impressive subsequent winner Easter Day was 13 lengths behind him there - and his second to Niceonefrankie at Ascot last time came in a pretty muddling race, where the selection wasn't suited by being pestered on the pace throughout and paid for it late on.
So I think that he is better than he showed that day. Connections believe that he is more effective on a softer surface but the formbook tells you that good ground should be fine - though admittedly I would have liked to see more than light showers falling at the track this afternoon.
I have a feeling that there is plenty more to come from him, especially on a track where he has run, and won, so well over hurdles. And he has only run five times over fences, after all.
There could be a fair bit of pace on here, so Sam Twiston-Davies may have to take a pull if he can't get an uncontested lead. But if he can get him into a nice jumping rhythm at or near the head of affairs, he could just be able to repel all-comers from the second last. He rates fair value at 12.5 or better.
I will have a saver on Sew On Target at 20.019/1 or better, with a number of factors in our favour. He is simply a very solid proposition; he loves it here, is in form and is simply a very consistent, and possibly improving, horse. He also has a 16lb pull for the four-and-a-half lengths he was beaten by John's Spirit here in October.
Doncaster 15:15 - Mart Lane
Over at Doncaster, I can't see past the short-priced favourite Royal Irish Hussar in the juvenile hurdle at 14:05.
But I will side with Mart Lane in the 15:15. He won in the soft on his first start for Dr Richard Newland at Stratford in October, but then disappointed in testing conditions at Sandown last month.
I reckon that, despite the Stratford win, this horse will appreciate the better ground here. His former trainer Shark Hanlon reckoned he wanted good ground - it was decent ground when he won at Fairyhouse in April - and I am happy to give him another chance on this quicker going. Back him at 12.011/1 or bigger.
Harry The Viking is the interesting one in this. He had a 2012-13 to forget but he had a breathing operation in the summer, has his ground, winning course form, has slipped to a decent mark and his trainer reports him pretty straight.
But I suspect that he could be over-bet, and he has a fair bit to prove for me at the likely prices.
Back Double Ross and Sew on Target in the 14:25 at Cheltenham at 12.5 and 20.019/1 or better respectively
Back Mart Lane in the 15:15 at Doncaster at 12.011/1 or better