NZ Championships, then the worlds for Cheree Wigg

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Going into 2024 Cheree Wigg had three targets.

She achieved the first by being the top South Island amateur driver and qualifying for this week's NZ amateur driving championships. Her second goal is to win that title, and then head to August's world championships in Finland as the reigning national champion, and win that as well.

"How amazing would that be?" she quips.

It will be Wigg's second world championships, after finishing seventh in 2018 in Belgium while her twin sister Sheryl was New Zealand's representative in Italy in 2022.

"I am really looking forward to it," says Wigg, "I've been very lucky, you get to go to places I wouldn't otherwise get to."

This will be her first trip to Scandanavia.

"It's four days of racing. with nine races at three different tracks Teivo, Mikkeli and Jokimaa."

This week's national championships will feature 10 drivers - five from both islands - and be held over either four or five races, starting at Cambridge this Thursday, before moving to Addington on Friday and Sunday.

Wigg heads into the championships in good form. She won five races in 2023, and six in 2022, after getting involved in the amateur ranks nine years ago.

"You always remember your first win and that was at Waipa (near Te Awamutu in the Waikato) - they don't hold harness racing meetings there now!"

Wigg drove the Frank Phelan-trained Speak Up that day in December 2015.

She's had 38 wins in total.

Her day job is training from her Weedons base just outside Christchurch, either on her own account or for partner Alan Edge. They've had six wins this year with Knockshanbully, Off The Edge and Onwardsandupwards.

Adding an extra dimension to the championships Edge will be among her rivals at Cambridge and Addington.

If Wigg wins she'll head to Finland with her Triple Crown aspirations very much alive.

"It would be something wouldn't it?" she says, "it won't be easy but you have to put your best foot forward and give it a crack."

NZ Amateur Drivers' Championships
(Cambridge June 20, Addington June 21 and 23)

The 10 drivers are :

(North Island)

John Kriechbaumer
Michelle Northcott
Andrew Sharpe
Craig Sharpe
Warren Rich

(South Island)

Cheree Wigg
Alan Edge
Colleen Negus
Michael House
Warren Frost

You can view their profiles here

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