Harry Dunlop says recent inflationary increases as well as Brexit and the war in Ukraine have contributed to his decision to quit the training ranks at the end of the season.
In a shock statement on Monday, the Group One-winning trainer revealed he would not be training at the conclusion of the Flat season, with rising costs and the economic climate as contributing factors.
Dunlop trained Robin Of Navan to victory in the 2015 Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud, and has a total of 169 winners to his name, however only five of them have come this season.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports Racing on Tuesday, Dunlop admitted the recent hikes in costs would be hard to pass onto owners he describes as “normal”.
“If you have a hotel and it’s not full, it doesn’t pay and I think [it’s the same] really when you have 40 boxes and didn’t have half of them full,” Dunlop told Sky Sports Racing.
“You have to pay to use the gallops as well as the feed, bedding and I think with the war in Ukraine as well as inflation and interest and Brexit, all of these prices have gone up.
“My farrier has put his prices up which is absolutely understandable.
“I think everything is being squeezed and that’s pretty hard to pass it onto an owner, especially when you read the newspaper at the moment and things are going to go downwards.
“I’m talking about normal owners, not owners who own countries and oil wells, no disrespect in any way, aren’t probably affected by a recession of this degree which we are presuming is going to happen.
“There was a lot of forward-thinking for me as well – we had to go out there and find yearlings to try and boost it and it isn’t easy and I think it’s the same for many of my contemporaries who have done incredibly well.”
Dunlop follows fellow trainer Joe Tuite as another to leave the ranks in recent weeks, with Tuite also citing the economic crisis as a contributing factor.
But the Lambourn handler did admit it is not all doom and gloom in horse racing, with several rising stars in the training ranks proving they can make it pay.
“You may see the likes of George Boughey and Archie Watson who are doing incredibly well and are only half my age,” Dunlop added.
“I can understand an owner wanting to send a horse to them, who are very new and exciting so I think that’s another thing possibly against myself, Joe Tuite and a few others.
“Once you’ve got a great reputation like Richard Hannon or John Gosden, you are right at the top. But even for those, you are needing a good horse to keep you at the top and that’s another thing.
“It’s amazing how a good horse can change things.”