By Isaac Murphy
Kerry Hoggan was excited to get the promising Shian Diva to the racetrack in January 2019, little did she know over a year later the bitch would have only managed seven race starts cruelled by injury, but all the hard work paid off when fresh off her latest spell the sprinter put her name in the record books as the equal track record holder clocking 16.58 last Tuesday over the 288 metres at Ipswich.
“It would have been nice to shave one tenth off and get the outright record (16.57), but I was just delighted I’d never held or shared a track record in my career, and to do it with her knowing there is still so much improvement in her was a huge thrill,” Hoggan said.
“We were going to give her a few weeks off given her history and she was up to fourth grade, but Racing Queensland came looking for nominations for a 4th/5th Grade and she came up with box one, so she’ll go around again on Tuesday.”
While Hoggan is currently basking in the limelight of Shian Diva’s achievement she’s always weary each time she goes around could spell the end of her racing career.
“Every race could be her last she basically races on three legs after doing a stopper bone way back in January 2019 and she has never been able to fully recover from it,” Hoggan said.
“The initial injury saw her out for about six months, she came back had one run and was out again for another four months and she just came off another month on the sidelines, so she’s missed almost a year of racing.”
“We just try to cherish every start and to see her not only go around injury free but also equal a track record makes all the hard work and long road to recovery worth it.”
Who knows where Shian Diva could have been if she were injury free, but still boasting an over fifty percent win rate the talent has been there from day dot.
“Her second career start she came out and won in 25.09 and we thought it was the perfect time to step her up to Novice grade over the 520 at Albion and that’s where the trouble started,” Hoggan said.
“We worked hard to get her back in time for a steward’s trial, first race back she went 16.85 from the pink over the 288 metres at Ipswich reaggravating the same injury.”
“After that she came back again for another sub seventeen run at Ipswich, before her latest month off.”
Hoggan admitted Shian Diva would have been on her way to becoming their newest brood bitch had she not made it back this time, explaining the tax carrying an injured greyhound can have on a kennel.
“It’s a big deal to stick with a greyhound as log as we did, we’re not a big kennel and are relying on the dogs to be bringing back money from the track,” she said.
“When you have one injured for the length of time Shian Diva was that’s one extra kennel that could be occupied by a race dog, but it’s a labour of love and luckily I have a great support system.”
“A lot of credit has to go to my husband Ian who put in a lot of the work behind the scenes to get her back to the racetrack.”
Not three until April Hoggan is hoping Shian Diva can finally string a good preparation together but admits there are limitations to her.
“The 288 metres was the natural distance first start back and while we’d love to get her back up to 520 metres, I’m just not sure her body will handle it,” she said.
“She’s got a good history over the 431 metres at Ipswich and after tomorrows run, we’ll probably look to get her back to the 431 and break that twenty-five second barrier.”
Hoggan bred Dyna Double One/Kyan’s Assassin litter herself at her Churchable property, all pups showing unlimited potential with injuries also an unfortunate common denominator.
“We bred her mother Kyan’s Assassin who we gave to a friend Brian Druery to train and she won about nine straight tracks races including The Futurity, when Brian decided to breed with her we did all the leg work and Brian (Druery) got Benny’s Assassin from the litter who’s been a handy dog, while we got Shian Rusty who’s gone as quick as 34.84 over the 600 metres at Albion,” Hoggan said.
“They’re an impressive breed and have all run time but keeping them healthy has been a constant struggle, we’d love to get a clean run with them, but we’ve got breeding licences for both Shian Diva and Shian Rusty when the time comes.”
“We hope to get some good interest in both of them given what they’ve produced, but especially in Shian Diva’s case she’ll probably be pigeonholed as a short course producer even though when healthy she can run a good 520.”