Paul Nicholls admitted his "sadness" after Kauto Star's time at his Ditcheat yard came to an abrupt end on Tuesday.
The superstar's owner Clive Smith had announced on Monday that the 12-year-old would be moving away to be prepared by European bronze medalist eventing rider Laura Collett and long-time Great Britain manager and coach Yogi Breisner for a new career in the world of dressage - a decision not popular with Nicholls and his staff.
The winner of 19 races for the champion trainer, including four Betfair Chases and two Tingle Creeks, Kauto Star had been with Nicholls for eight years and was invariably ridden by his head lad Clifford Baker.
Nicholls told his Betfair column: "It is with great sadness that I have to report that Kauto Star has left the yard for the last time. It has been no secret that Kauto's future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement. And, to be brutally honest, this morning I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.
"Now, I am fully aware that Kauto is Clive's horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved Clifford to have looked after him for the rest of his years. But what upset me and my team here is when Clive announced that he had spoken to experts about the horse's future - but failed to consult and listen properly to the team that had looked after him here for the past nine years. That really upset us."
Nicholls went on: "So we had a team meeting here this morning. And after listening to everybody involved - there were about six of us in the meeting - I rang up Clive, said I don't want to fall out, but we think it is in the best interests of everybody concerned to take Kauto to Yogi Breisner's this afternoon so that he could start his new career in the dressage field as soon as possible.
"Which we did with the saddest of hearts. But I like to think with a lot of dignity, too. And, yes, there were plenty of tears too. He was a member of the family here at Ditcheat, and we will all miss him so much. I would just to like say that it was a privilege for us here at Ditcheat to train the horse. Good luck, old boy. You were the best - and deserve the best."
Collett, 22, who is an aspiring Olympian based at the Membury Estate in Wiltshire, tweeted: "I feel very privileged and extremely honoured to have been asked to ride Kauto Star. I will be working closely with Yogi to give Kauto Star the best chance of a second career in dressage."
She added: "Kauto Star has arrived safe and sound. Had a nice roll, now happily munching on his hay!"
Collett also revealed she had spoken to Paul Nicholls to reassure him about Kauto Star and tweeted: ""Just had a lovely chat with @PFNicholls about Kauto Star...I have reassured him Kauto will be treated like the legend he is...".
30 August 2016Mick Fitzgerald secures ITV racing role
Willie Mullins gives Ebor defector Ivan Grozny time to recover
'Magic horse' Clondaw Warrior on the march for Melbourne
Order Of St George nominated by Aidan O'Brien for Melbourne Cup
Jamie Codd savours Amateur Derby glory at Epsom
Four-star Silvestre de Sousa back in pole position in championship race
Alicante Dawn makes it a Ripon season to remember for Bryan Smart
Limato back in Sprint Cup picture as Quiet Reflection primed
Owen Burrows plots path for Markaz after German delight
Trainer David Wachman to retire at the end of the season
Time Test to swerve Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown
Frankel colt Seven Heavens ready for Goodwood test
Charlie Appleby to choose between Leopardstown and Ascot for Hawkbill
29 August 2016Snow Falcon freezes out Roscommon rivals
Irish ace Jamie Codd sparkles in Amateur Derby at Epsom
All-the-way Alicante Dawn too hot for Ripon rivals
Careless riding ban for Joe Fanning in amended Newcastle result
Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan strike at Ripon
Four-star De Sousa fires Hurricane warning at Epsom
Dancing Star and Mehronissa added to Sprint Cup field at Haydock
Unlucky break for Andrew Lynch at Cork
5 things you might not know about Jim Crowley
Title-chasing jockey Jim Crowley living the 'dream'
Henry Candy could draw stumps with Windsor winner Chain Of Daisies
Ger Lyons set to bid farewell to Australia-bound Endless Drama
Henry Candy puts Limato back in Haydock Sprint Cup contention
32Red continues support of All-Weather Championships
Pulled muscle could derail Middle Park plans for Caravaggio
Intelligence Cross towers above Curragh rivals
Opal Tiara sparkles in Supreme Stakes at Goodwood
Somehow far too good in Snow Fairy waltz at the Curragh
Sea Of Grace battles to Flame Of Tara success for John Oxx
Ruby Walsh back in business at Cork
Dermot Weld on weather watch for Harzand in Irish Champion
Muthmir team 'disappointed' as classy sprinter misfires in Beverley Bullet
Thikriyaat to undergo tests after Goodwood reverse
28 August 2016Robbie Hennessy stalwart Rubi Light retired
Regally-bred Yucatan off the mark at the Curragh
Richard Fahey feels Queen Kindly can savour mile high
Ground key to Boynton as Charlie Appleby ponders Curragh raid
Roger Charlton ponders Newmarket challenge with Frankel filly Fair Eva
Richard Fahey expects Ribchester progress in QEII at Ascot
Marco Botti has Gowran in mind for Haydock scorer Aljazzi
Jim Crowley takes the lead in jockeys' championship battle
Chain Of Daisies too strong in Winter Hill test
Lightning strikes in Celebration Mile
Wind too fast for Hopeful opponents at Newmarket
Platitude a class apart from March Stakes rivals
Alpha Delphini hits the target in Beverley Bullet for Bryan Smart
Certificate stamps authority on Goodwood handicap
Kilmah battles hard to land Prestige prize
Australian jaunt confirmed for Scottish after Strensall win
27 August 2016No comment from Hayley Turner's team on reports of ITV Racing role
Tara Celeb stars for Mick Channon at Goodwood
Khafoo Shememi claims opening honours at Newmarket for Richard Hannon
Aidan O'Brien takes aim at Round Tower with Intelligence Cross
John Oxx hoping Sea Of Grace can fire him back to the big time
Michael Bell leaning away from Irish Leger tilt with Big Orange
Hundred not out for triumphant Whozthecat
Frankel youngster Seven Heavens set for Goodwood run
Ryan Moore back with a winner but not looking at jockeys' title challenge
Quiet Reflection progressing nicely to Sprint Cup at Haydock
Matron Stakes favoured for upwardly-mobile Persuasive
Certificate in the frame for Revival honours at Goodwood
Beverley rain a 'nightmare' for William Haggas and Muthmir
Charlie Appleby backs Grecian Light to shine in Prestige Stakes at Goodwood
Celebration Mile at Goodwood the 'logical' target for Thikriyaat