Big spender Darren Yates - who purchased the likes of Blaklion last season, has opted to remove all bar one of his horses from Phil Kirby's East Appleton-based yard.
Together with partner Annaley, Yates has invested sky-rocket figures in racing in the past twelve months, and inflated the market far beyond many people's expectations.
The ambitious owner has also purchased Don Poli from Gordon Elliott's yard at the Aintree sales for a fee of £170,000, along with the exciting Interconnected - previously owned by Grech & Parkin and trained by Nicky Henderson, who cost a whopping £620,000 following his debut second to Emitom at Newbury.
The ten-year-old Blaklion - formely with Nigel Twistor-Davies, was arguably the biggest loss to Kirby, after the combination of trainer and owners were left majorly disappointed that he was ruled out of the Grand National in the close lead-up to the Aintree festival earlier this year.
Kirby has admitted his sadness at the circumstances of events, which has seen a large contingent of his yard now move on to Dan Skelton's.
(Credit: RacingTV) He said: “It’s just one of those things. Things haven’t quite worked out as hoped and Darren has decided to move the horses on.
"There’s been no fall out, nothing like that at all – they’re Darren’s horses and it’s his choice.
“It is disappointing for us, but it’s not world-ending and we will survive.
“They had six horses with us, and they were nice horses, but it’s not going to change the world.
“We still have plenty of lovely horses and it is onwards and upwards from here.”
The man who made over £500,000 betting on Frankie Dettori's 'Magnificent Seven' in 1996, was quick to respond and follow up Kirby's comments.
(Credit: Racing Post) Yates said: "Phil is one of the best up and coming trainers in the country and I'm a very, very superstitious person.
"We just haven’t had any luck, people from the outside will think that's a bloody pathetic thing to say, but it's as simple as that.
"Phil's a fantastic guy, he's unbelievable, he's looked after my horses incredibly but we were just continually getting no luck and I just thought I had to try and do something to change it.
"It’s got nothing to do with Phil and Pippa's [Kirby's wife] ability whatsoever, they are fantastic, it’s purely that I’m a massively superstitious person and I felt we were having no luck.
"Phil's a friend and it's been heartwrenching," he concluded.
Yates is now hoping for a change in fortunes with his group of expensive purchases, and is eyeing a new chapter when the new season officially kicks into gear in the Autumn.
He said: "My horses are now going to Dan Skelton. We're hoping for massive things from Interconnected, we think he's a future Gold Cup horse.
"Because of the way Phil has looked after Blaklion and Don Poli, we believe they will have a fantastic season going forward. I would expect those three to run in all the top races."