After watching Deputy Ruler of Dubai Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's immaculate string of two-year-olds trotting around the metropolitan track earlier in the week, it brought back memories of my days as a youngster when I was given the unenviable task of “backing the yearlings'' along with a host of other wannabe jockeys, while it was also a stark reminder of how much work and skill goes into actually breaking in a horse in the first place.
John Hyde, and his trusted team of staff at Dubai Stables, across the road from Godolphin's Al Quoz base, do a fantastic job of getting the potential stars under his care ready, before being dispatched to their respective trainers to begin life on the racecourses around the world.
From the view within my garden, each youngster looked in magnificent shape and would certainly win races if they were judged on looks, while the riders didn't look too bad either!
There were a couple at the back who may be at the juvenile stage of their career, but whose foot-perfect bucks and kicks were as skilled as any of their senior counterparts, and were certainly keeping their astute handlers on their toes. Who knows how good they will end up?
Maybe the horse that went past me snorting will win the Derby, or perhaps the dashing grey whose neighing let all those around know he meant business, will become a household name. It's an exciting time ahead and let's hope there's a superstar among them.
It's a far cry from lying across the backs of racing's new blood, but perennial UK Champion jumps jockey Tony McCoy has put his leg over a few decent ones in his time, and at a modest, grey and damp Plumpton on Monday the Irishman completed another record-breaking feat when riding his 3,000th winner over obstacles aboard Restless D'Artaix. Perhaps quite aptly named, considering McCoy is hardly the most relaxed when on horseback and makes sure none of his mounts are given time to rest on their laurels.
He really is an outstanding professional and ranks among the Piggotts and Cauthens of this world, if not better.
He might not be everyone's cup of tea, but is a master of his sport and his first winner on Legal Steps in March 1992 must seem a distant memory to him, but I wonder if racegoers in attendance at Thurles that afternoon knew they were witnessing the rise of a living legend.
The construction work for Meydan around Nad Al Sheba has had very little impact on the general day-to-day training of horses around the track, although there was a slight near-miss on Tuesday when a digger driver couldn't have seen the 15-strong group of horses circling in front of him as he attempted to drive past. Thankfully, the efforts of Darley Flying Start student James McHale ensured the commotion was kept to a minimum and whatever career he chooses, he clearly could qualify for the traffic police.