Billy Books Shock Phoenix Berth

BILLY Creek is off to Melbourne for The Phoenix after a shock win in Saturday night's $25,000 to the winner GBOTA Flight To The Phoenix final. 

Jeff Collerson

28 November 2021

BILLY Creek had been beaten in three Wentworth Park fifth grades and his trainer Ian Gilders had not won a race in the metropolitan area but the duo picked the right time to notch their first Sydney wins when they landed Saturday night’s $25,000 to the winner GBOTA Flight To The Phoenix final. 

By virtue of winning the GBOTA’s slot in the $750,000 to the winner The Phoenix at The Meadows next month, Billy Creek, the battler’s dog from the tiny country town of Beryl, is off to Melbourne.

On Saturday night Billy Creek, a $19 outsider who had been placed in each of four previous Wenty outings without winning, came from last approaching the first turn and sustained a long run along the rails to come away in the straight and win by nearly two lengths.

There was no fluke about the win as the dog covered the 520m in his personal best of 29.82, which compared well with She’s A Pearl’s time standard of 29.64 for the 10 race card.

Billy Creek‘s trainer Ian Gilders is a former truck driver who only took out a trainer’s licence five years ago.
He and his wife Joy bred Billy Creek from their bitch Midnight Jayne, who was trained on their behalf by leading trainer Jack Smith from Forbes.

Smith also trained Brad Hill Billy, the sire of Billy Creek, so was especially thrilled for the Gilders family.

After Saturday’s win Joy Gilders said: “Billy Creek hasn’t got a lot of early pace but he is very strong and is a wonderful railer.

“When he was last going into the first turn he stayed hard up on the rails and from there he got a good run throughout the race.

“Only reason I came tonight was because I don’t like Ian to drive all the way to Sydney on his own but I’m glad I did now.”

Gilders’ kennels are at tiny Beryl, 236km west of Sydney, a town next to Gulgong, the home of another of Saturday night’s big race winners, Gulgong Flyer.


Gulgong became famous as a gold rush town in the 19th century and there were abundant riches heading there on Saturday night with $8 chance Gulgong Flyer taking out the $12,500 to the winner Ladbrokes Fifth Grade final.

The aptly named Gulgong Flyer, trained by Lynn Maney, trailed pacemaker Redshift Seven to the home turn before surging to the lead at the top of the straight and holding off a late charge by Not Today to win by a neck in 30.14.

After the race Maney’s husband Michael said: “When we looked at the good prizemoney for this race we were hoping to share some of it, but thought our best chance was probably securing a placing.

“Gulgong Flyer is very keen little chaser but while he is pretty strong he does not have a lot of early pace.

“His fast start out of box one tonight enabled him to be up close to the lead in the early stages and that helped a lot.”