Ian Fortune

Part Blake was undoubtedly one of the fastest greyhounds in recent years but persistent injury problems often stood in his way.

Sadly, it is a recurring injury that has finally ended his racing career but he will be remembered fondly as a greyhound that could really fly when on song.

The abiding memory from his career came around Limerick in late 2021 as he took that year’s Leger by the scruff of the neck. As a relatively raw young tracker with very few races under his belt, he lit up the classic with some stunning performances through the early rounds.

Ultimately, his finest run came in the quarter finals when he left a brilliant field standing on his way to a 29.24 success. To this day, it remains the second fastest time ever posted for the 550yd trip around Limerick, just three sports off the clock.

Unfortunately, after making the final, he carried no luck and finished down the field after early traffic. He had quickly established himself as one of the fastest and most exciting in training, however.  

So much so that, when he returned in 2022, he was installed as one of the favourites for English Derby glory. He did little to quell that view, winning a couple of very good races at Shelbourne Park before journeying to Towcester where he quickly took to the track.

Winning a Derby trial stake in fine style, he looked even better in the opening round of the classic itself. Luck again deserted him a week later, however. Stumbling at traps and finding crowding on the turn he made his exit.

In the subsequent weeks, he won top class races at Shelbourne Park and Cork, posting 28.05 in the latter, but persistent injury issues were to curtail his career. He would run just a handful more times, being forced to withdraw from the Derby at the second-round stage.

At three and a half years of age, he returned some seven months later in March of the year for an attempted comeback. Despite winning at Cork in mid-March, it was clear he was never going to be the same dog. Injuries have finally ended his time as a racer but he is to be given a chance at stud.

A greyhound with a wonderful pedigree as a son of Laughil Blake and Galloping Maeve, the pace to challenge and beat the very best in training and a tremendous attitude to racing, he could easily throw some very talented pups.

Pat Creed confirmed that his star has a date with Galloping Image, a classically bred daughter of Droopy Sydney and Mags Image, and it will be interesting to see how they turn out. With so many exceptionally talented Droopys Sydney bitches around, there is a real need for an outcross in the coming years and there won’t be many faster than Part Blake around to try and provide it. 

Who knows what the future holds for this wonderful greyhound but while he was fit and healthy it was a joy to watch him race. We look forward to the next chapter and perhaps we will be seeing his pups shining bright in the coming years. For the moment he is standing at the Galloping kennels but that could change if he proves popular.