Jockey Danny Peisley is never too far away from the headlines, and he is the first to admit that it is sometimes for the wrong reasons.
Peisley, now based in Byron Bay, put multiple suspensions and a four-year break from race riding behind him when returning to the saddle in September of last year.
The 34-year-old rode his first winner back on November 2, guiding the Owen Glue-trained King Farouk to victory at Murwillumbah.
Peisley then rode another winner on December 17, when combining with Shane Everson to win on Old Timing Man at Lismore.
In what the jockey hopes is a sign for bigger and better things in 2022, Peisley kicked off the new year in fine style on Saturday, winning the Inverell Cup aboard the Wayne Oakenfull-trained Renegade.
While his victory in the $45,000 feature race isn’t the biggest of his career, he believed it was one of the most important.
“It’s not up there with my biggest wins; I’ve won a few cups before, but it was definitely a special one for me,” Peisley told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
“I’ve really only just started my career now. I was never right through my whole career with issues.”
Peisley put in a good front-running ride on the Renegade, and he said it felt good to lead all the way in the New Year’s Day feature at Inverell Jockey Club.
“The plan was to just get him in somewhere close (and) not three deep and he jumped well and there was no pace early and I went to the lead,” Peisley said.
“He felt nice under me and it felt like there was a lot of horse there, so I was happy with the tempo because he handled it.”
It was Peisley’s first Inverell Cup victory, and he said it was important for his confidence and his reputation.
“I really can’t remember if I’ve ever rode in that cup, but no, I haven’t (won it before),” Peisley replied when asked if he had previously lifted the Inverell Cup.
“It shows me that trainers in that area are willing to give me a chance by giving me the ride in a main race.”
The win was also important to Peisley, as he felt as though he had won the race for his good friend and Inverell product, Pat Webster.
“It was special for me because a bloke on my support team is from there, Pat Webster, and he’s been on my journey,” Peisley said,
“It meant a lot to my career and I’m hoping it can open doors for me.
“I’m too busy trying to do the right thing and keep on track. I don’t know what it means to me, but it was special because Pat was from there and I won his hometown cup.”
Peisley is now focusing on the future and is riding for Daniel Bowen in Lismore.
Wayne Oakenfull believes Peisley has a lot to offer in the saddle, and considering they only recently met, he was happy to give the talented jockey a go.
“We had a truck ride back from Grafton to Inverell a while back and he needed a ride,” Oakenfull said.
“I was driving and along the way, he told me what he has been through and it’s incredible.
“He is a good kid and deserves a chance and he rode our horse a treat.”
According to Renegade’s owner, Paul Ehsman, Peisley will stay aboard Renegade as the stable prepares for the Ballina Cup later this month before bigger races in Queensland.
“We will try and retain him when we race again,” Ehsman said.
“It was a good win, and I don’t think James McDonald would have given him a better ride.
“He certainly has some ability and I’m happy to have him on our horse.”
Peisley was back in the saddle at Taree on Monday, with the hoop jumping aboard two horses, including Achi Baba for Grant Marshall and Discompose for Tim McIntosh.