Dr Mumbo

Dr Mumbo’s Guide to the Melbourne Cup 2016

Dr Mumbo Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation, and once again the media industry will drop everything to watch the race.

Picking the winner of the two-miler is notoriously hard, so once again Dr Mumbo has asked a few of the media and marketing industry’s biggest names for their tips for the big race.

No-one picked last year’s winner, 100-1 outsider Prince Of Penzance, which means the bragging rights for winning Dr Mumbo’s Guide to the Melbourne Cup are wide open.

The industry has rallied around the only Australian-bred horse (and the favourite) Jameka, with Hartnell and Big Orange also popular choices.

Below you can see the picks from racing die-hards who give their carefully considered tips. While others have taken a more creative bent – from getting racing tips from your mum to basing it all on the name.

Which is more scientific? We’ll let you decide. And whilst Dr Mumbo is certainly not encouraging you to gamble, if you do choose to, do so responsibly.

Tim Worner, CEO, Seven West Media

Tim Worner:

“Really tough this year because it is difficult to line up the European form. I reckon any one of about 15 can win it.

“Oceanographer was pretty much awesome on Saturday but the last horse to run three times in 10 days and win was Brew.

“I like the preparation Hall of Fame trainer, David Hayes, has set Sheik Hamdan’s Almoonqith on this year. Hayes was too preoccupied in ensuring qualification for the son of Dynaformer in the 2015 Cup via a rushed Geelong Cup win. He was subsequently afforded nil hope, being caught in severe interference then, but proved his stamina by winning over the Cup distance at the Sandown meeting 12 days later.

“His preparation for this year’s Cup has been perfectly timed, including a fourth in the Caulfield Cup when he was the fastest runner over the final furlong in the field. He’s my first pick at a decent price.

“John O’Shea’s Godolphin runner, Hartnell, has superior form, and is well handicapped on only 55kg, a serious advantage over the Caulfield Cup winner Jameka whom he beat effortlessly in the Turnbull. Grand Marshall being a Waller runner and a last start winner of the Mooney Valley Cup, which race’s form proved superior last year can cause an upset.”

Picks: Almoonqith, Hartnell, Grand Marshall, Oceanographer

Paul Anderson, CEO of Network Ten 

“I’ll be going for Jameka, a four-year-old mare trained by Victorian Cairan Maher, who won the Caulfield Cup. Despite the weight penalty she was given for winning the Caulfield Cup, she stands an excellent chance of victory. My second choice is Hartnall, who ran second in the Cox Plate to Winx.”

Picks: Jameka, Hartnall

Anne Fulwood, media director, Ogilvy PR Australia


“My first piece is of advice is to go in the office sweep – it’s the only way I ever got my money back, for a small and pain-free investment!”

“However, this year, I’m giving myself a chance with a box trifecta. First, I’m backing the Blue Army. Can 2016 be the year for Team Godolphin? Hartnell and Beautiful Romance are my picks.

“I am adding Real Love, and Gallante – omen bets for my husband, as we are recently married! Also, as a citrus grower’s daughter, I can’t go past Big Orange! Good luck!”


Mark Pejic, chairman, IPG Mediabrands Melbourne


“My top three tips are Heartbreak City, sure to be a hit with the fillies on the day, the luck of the Irish is on his side, Almandin, light weight hope that they will be hitting the line late, and Jameka, class horses like this mare win the Caulfield Cup and will have the locals covered.”

Picks: Heartbreak City, Almandin, Jameka

Cathy O’Connor, CEO, Nova Entertainment

Cathy O'Connor

“Jameka – it’s one of the favourites so should have a good finish. Almooqith – it performed well in the Caulfield Cup so is expected to have a big run in the Cup and WhoShotTheBarman – it’s a great name so couldn’t resist!”

Picks: Jameka, Almooqith, WhoShotTheBarman

Simon Ryan, CEO, DentsuAegis Network Australia and New Zealand


“I am not much of a punter, so I am going on gut instinct and not much else. The favourite looks pretty good in Jameka, but I also like Heartbreak City and WhoShotTheBarman for value.”

Picks: Jameka, Heartbreak City, WhoShotTheBarman

Prue Cox, commercial director, Pacific Magazines

Prue Cox:

“It’s a tough race but I have three horses that I fancy for my trifecta. Hartnell looked to be coming on strong at the end of the Cox Plate last weekend. Jameka won two weeks ago in a very strong run at Flemington. WhoShotTheBarman if it runs the distance could be a real chance.”

Picks: Hartnell, Jameka, WhoShotTheBarman

Grant Blackley, CEO, Southern Cross Austereo



“I’m sure everyone’s heard the joke about the Lion that walks into a bar and orders a large orange juice…”

Picks: Big Orange, Grey Lion, WhoShotTheBarMan

Helen McCabe, head of lifestyle, Nine 


“I get all my racing tips from my mum. She loves to put a $1 each way on the favourite. This year she tells me it’s Jameka. Why? Because she led the boys in a merry dance in the Caulfield Cup a couple of weeks back. And just because it is The Cup we think Qewy each-way for some value at long odds.”

Picks: Jameka, Qewy


Nicole Sheffield, managing director, NewsDNA

Sheffield join

“Really think the tough on-pacer Big Orange is well over the odds here and he’s going on top accordingly. Almandin hails from such a shrewd stable and I think he’s gone under the radar a bit, too. It’s very difficult to narrow it down to four but Hartnell, Jameka and Bondi Beach do look the class runners. Gallante is the pick of the roughies for me.”

Picks: Big Orange, Almandin, Hartnell, Jameka

Rob Atkinson, CEO, Adshel

Rob-Atkinson (1)

“My success rate on tipping Melbourne Cup winners is not high, in fact most horses I go for have to tiptoe back into the stables as they finish so late!

“However, this year I’m more confident: top three choices for me are Almandin, Bondi Beach and Our Ivanhoe.”

Picks: Almandin, Bondi Beach, Our Ivanhoe

Lee Tonitto, CEO, Australian Marketing Institute

Lee Tonitto

“I am not a regular in the field of horse racing so my picks are determined by a big of insight from The Sunday Telegraph and the excellent calibre of names. My picks are the roughie – Heartbreak City, return racer – Bondi Beach, and of course – Excess Knowledge.”

Picks: Heartbreak City, Bondi Beach, Excess Knowledge

Gereurd Roberts, CEO, Pacific Magazines

Gereurd Roberts

“Jameka was the Caulfield Cup winner, so will go in with a lot of support. Oceanographer is one of Godoplhin’s main chances having just won the Lexus 2,500m race on Saturday, which is also a good lead-up race for the Cup. It gets in with a light weight, so will be there at the end. If you want to take a punt on a roughie, go with Big Orange.”

Picks: Jameka, Oceanographer, Big Orange

Aimee Buchanan, CEO, OMD


“After lots of research (and a few tips from my friend’s at Tabcorp), my top three are Hartnell (apparently the best horse in the race), Jameka (the only locally-bred horse in the race), Oceanographer (the winner of the Lexus on Saturday).”

Picks: Hartnell, Jameka, Oceanographer

Leigh Terry, CEO designate, IPG Mediabrands Asia Pacific

Leigh Terry 1

“Hartnell was the First Doctor (Who) and I am a fan. Also he is a hot favourite. I live in Sydney so Bondi is an obvious one for Sydneysiders and am half-Irish so with Wicklow being just south of Dublin, that’s enough for me to put money on it and at $17 could be a good place bet.”

Picks: Hartnell, Bondi Beach, Wicklow Brave

Katie-Rigg Smith, CEO, Mindshare

Katie Rigg-Smith

“I am going with Almandin, Hartnell and Gallante as the roughie to bring home the top three.”

Picks: Amandin, Hartnell, Gallente

Ciaran Davis, CEO, APN News & Media

Ciaran Davis

“Irish connections to achieve the clean sweep this year. Wicklow Brave – fresh from winning the Irish St. Leger will return a healthy profit. Bondi Beach has a great draw and Qewy has just won at Geelong so is in top form. Slainte!!”

Picks: Wicklow Brave, Bondi Beach, Qewy

Kylie Rogers, managing director, Mamamia

Kylie Rogers:

“Feeling confident this year after just missing the mark last year. My top three: Big Orange – British stayer in excellent form; Grand Marshall – will surprise on the upside; Jameka – the only Australian-bred horse in the field. We must support her.”

Picks: Big Orange, Grand Marshall, Jameka

Michael Ebeid, managing director, SBS

SBS MD Michael Ebeid

“In true SBS style, my top three tips include a mix of Australian and international favourites – solid race choice #6 Hartnell, Caufield Cup winner #12 Jameka, with #4 Bondi Beach thrown in for a little local flavour.”

Picks: Hartnell, Jameka, Bondi Beach

Kim Portrate, CEO, ThinkTV


“Choosing a horse is a bit like choosing which media channel to invest in. I’ve studied the form, so for me the smart money this year is on Hartnell. His delivery is reliable, week-in and week-out, just like TV, so he is the favourite for good reason. The Melbourne Cup is all about the long game. I’m going with tried and true to get the job done.”

Picks: Hartnell

Damian Eales, managing director metro & regional publishing

damian eales

“I like Big Orange. He has been doing well overseas and will be better in 2016 for past experience at the Melbourne Cup. ”

Picks: Big Orange, Hartnell, Bondi Beach

Kimberlee Wells, CEO, TBWA Melbourne


“I’m going for the best headline: Jameka Eureka! She is the only Australian horse running in the Cup and seems deserving of the win.”

Picks: Jameka, Hartnell, Big Orange

Hugh Marks, CEO, Nine


“Normally I prefer to get the advice of experts in the enclosure just before post time, but this year, if pressed, I’d say it’s hard to go past Hartnell. He’s in great form and fought on bravely in the Cox Plate behind Winx, and that’s what good starters do. Grand Marshall as a roughie might also be worth a bet.”

Picks: Hartnell, Grand Marshall

Michael Miller, executive chairman, News Corp Australia


“Assign: an outside chance but the story of the race’s only female jockey Katelyn Mallyon and her courage is a winner in itself.

“Bondi Beach: back again, stronger and better than last year. The luck of the Irish with a strong Aussie connection.

“Oceanographer: From $101 chance 13 days ago, to coming from last to first on the weekend, and now second favourite for the Cup, all good signs for success.”

Picks: Assign, Bondi Beach, Oceanographer

Chris Wharton, CEO, Seven West Media (WA)

Chris Wharton

“Oceanographer: Has run a place at least half the time in its career. It has good recent for and I’m okay with its barrier draw.

“Grand Marshall: Could be a good bet in a trifecta. It can run two miles comfortably and has been in the money more than half of it career runs.

“Excess Knowledge: Trained by Gai Waterhouse and again is generally in or about the money. It is a bit wide at the barrier and hasn’t got huge form if the track is heavy.”

Picks: Oceanographer, Grand Marshall, Excess Knowledge


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