Like most people, it came as a massive shock to me when the Jockey Club this week announced that they plan to close down Kempton Park racecourse as part of plans to invest £500m in the sport over the coming years. The course has been home to many legends down the years, including Desert Orchid and Kauto Star and holds plenty of fond memories for every fan of racing. However, those of us who go there more than once a year will know how desolate the place is on a run of the mill all-weather meeting and, quite frankly, it is depressing to be there on a Wednesday evening with a runner when there's no-one there watching the racing.
Going to Kempton used to be a bit of a privilege before it had an all-weather track - the course had some quality flat races there and you needed a good horse to be competitive. Ripping up the turf course and putting down an all-weather track certainly degraded the place and it never recovered that prestige.
Land is obviously at a premium in that area being so close to London so the racecourse is worth a lot of money, possibly more than what the Jockey Club is selling it for.
For blatant reasons, I am unopposed to the Club's idea to open a replacement all-weather track here in Newmarket - a two minute journey rather than a two hour one to go racing will appeal to anyone in the town. I doubt meetings will be well attended at the new venue but since when have racecourses cared about spectator numbers? Their money is made from those watching in the bookmakers.
The irony of all-weather racing is that sometimes it can't take place due to the weather, as we saw when travelling to Chelmsford on Thursday evening. After arriving at the track, the snow started to pour down and it was pretty obvious that it would cause a problem. The right decision was made to abandon racing as the track was covered in snow and would likely build-up in the horses' feet, making it feel like they are on stilts - something which isn't very safe when you're racing at 40mph.
It was frustrating that Best Example had to miss a good opportunity but these things only happen once or twice a year in this country so you just have to accept it. At least it occurred at a relatively local track rather than somewhere like Wolverhampton.
We have a few entries next week but the likelihood is that only a few of them will run.
Cuban Queen ran a great race to finish third at Kempton last week and she is now going in the right direction and she will probably go for an apprentice race in two weeks' time.
Majestic Moon is in at Kempton on Wednesday but he is the first to be balloted out and a full field looks likely to be declared so I doubt he will get a run.
Dakota City and Best Example are hard to find races for with limited opportunities available and they are entered in the same race at Chelmsford on Thursday. I won't run them against each other and Dakota City will probably wait for a similar race the following Monday. Both are slowly coming down to a winnable handicap mark so would have chances wherever they go.
Candesta has been a bit of a revelation since coming back from a summer break and he made it three wins in as many months when scoring at Chelmsford last time. He is due to run on Saturday and can hopefully continue his upward curve.
Silver Alliance had a cough over the New Year but has recovered now and will be entered for next Monday. He seems in good form and has had excuses in defeat recently.
Our Cilla, Tallulah's Quest and Secret Strategy continue to work away in their 'Fat Fighters' Club as they exercise off the weight they put on during their winter holidays. They will be trotting for another couple of weeks and are clearly feeling well as you can see in this video:
Hopefully I will be able to provide plenty of video content as, for the first time in my life, I actually have a better phone than the kids now that I got an iPhone 7 last week. I've just got to learn how to use it!