Brian Mayfield-Smith intends to take a holiday in Africa in December to decide his long-term future after announcing he will retire from training at the end of the month.
Mayfield-Smith, 62, said it was not economically viable to continue to train out of his Flemington stables as he needed 25 horses in work to break even but currently has 17.
Orange County, Stickpin, Samburu Warrior and Goldfield Ashes have been retired over the spring carnival while Famous Roman has returned to Western Australia.
Mayfield-Smith and his wife Maree have a passion for Africa and wildlife conservation and that is what drew them to the Kenyan bush for two years in the mid-1990s.
"We went back there last year which was great but we haven't been back there a hell of a lot. I think we have been back to Africa three times since we left there in 1997," he said.
Mayfield-Smith is best known as the trainer who ended the legendary Tommy Smith's 33-year reign in the Sydney premiership in the 1985-1986 season.
The former outback Queensland stockman won three successive premierships in Sydney from his then Rosehill base.
Upon his return to Australia after his stint in Africa, he resurrected his career from a new base at Flemington where he started with two tried horses, Wry Hero and Great Condor, who both won stakes races for him.
In the dozen years since he has landed 600 winners and 74 stakeswinners including 10 Group One victories.
Among the 30 individual Group One winners he prepared throughout his career were Marauding, Handy Proverb, Marooned, Diamond Shower, Rubitano, Oliver Twist, Special Dane and Sudurka.
His latest at the highest level was Orange County in the 2008 Rupert Clarke Stakes.
He always wanted to win a Melbourne Cup but the closest he got was third with Maybe Better behind the Japanese pair Delta Blues and Pop Rock in 2006.
Mayfield-Smith has two runners at Seymour Wednesday and has Encroacher and Greatwall Of China nominated for the Baryshnikov Handicap (1300m) at Sandown on Saturday.