Rarely has a jockey "transfer", from one stable to another, caused such a stir.
Kieren Fallon's decision to take the talents that have made him British champion on six occasions to Ireland has been greeted with a mixture of disappointment and fury.
Fallon (left) and Stoute have enjoyed a successful partnership
How can the 40-year-old, goes racecourse chatter, desert Sir Michael Stoute for John Magnier's Coolmore empire when Stoute has been such a mighty supporter through thick and thin?
In public at least, Stoute never flinched when Fallon, with whom he won a second successive Derby last June, was subject of lurid media headlines, and, separately, was arrested and bailed by police investigating race-fixing claims.
Indeed, that bail must be answered in April.
"What price loyalty?" screeched one regular at Kempton's jumping card the day after the news broke and a Flat racing story threatened to wrestle attention away from the build-up to Cheltenham.
I think that the new incumbent of the post will reflect the youth policy Stoute employed with a teenaged Walter Swinburn
Initially, Sir Michael himself may have been outraged, certainly disappointed, but after more than 30 years of training, pragmatism will have soon galloped to the fore.
The fact is that these things do happen, and the inspirational trainer, who counts the Queen, the Aga Khan, the Weinstock family and Cheveley Park Stud amongst his leading patrons, knows that perfectly well.
Annoying and inconvenient it may be, especially now, with preparations underway for the new season, but life goes on.
And, although Fallon is rated, with Frankie Dettori, as one of the two outstanding jockeys of our time, several other up-and-coming talents are closing in.
Two of those, Ryan Moore and Robert Winston, are being widely tipped to step into Fallon's boots, along with older colleagues Johnny Murtagh and Darryll Holland.
Ryan Moore, here on Linngari, is favourite to replace Fallon
Either Murtagh or Holland would be perfectly reasonable choices, especially Murtagh, who has been a stable regular over the years.
But I think that the new incumbent of the post, probably the most coveted in Europe - Coolmore and Godolphin apart - will reflect the youth policy Stoute employed with a teenaged Walter Swinburn in the early 1980s.
Moore is 21, Winston 25; both have plenty going for them, and, dramas aside (Winston has also been arrested and bailed), can expect to have long careers in front of them.
To me, however, Moore, son of Brighton trainer Gary, and brother of accomplished young jump jockey Jamie, will be the one.
He has the talent, the style, the consistency and the temperament to make it to the very top.
And, most importantly, I know that Sir Michael takes the same view.