A tough introduction to life at Myer for new Myer executive John Joyce, who spent his second day on the job at the department store's Flemington Racecourse marquee, watching the gee-gees go by.
By · 6 Nov 2013
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6 Nov 2013
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A tough introduction to life at Myer for new Myer executive John Joyce, who spent his second day on the job at the department store's Flemington Racecourse marquee, watching the gee-gees go by.

Joyce, who ran Rebel Sports from 2007 until 2011, has been brought on to beef up Myer's online offering, hired as (take a deep breath) executive general manager multi-channel, digital, marketing and events.

In addition to online, marketing and digital, Joyce will also be responsible for the store's loyalty card program, Myer One.

Before his stint at Rebel he was managing director of buying and advertising at Aldi Australia as the cheap-and-cheerful German supermarket group rolled out its local stores.

Life after Myer

Pondering life after Myer was outgoing chief executive Bernie Brookes, who was overseeing his last spring carnival marquee.

He didn't know what he would do with himself next Cup day.

"Maybe someone will be nice to me," he told CBD. "I'll try and wander around and make some more friends today so I can get an invite next year."

Myer has been a major sponsor of the spring racing carnival at Flemington since 2006, and this year renewed the deal for an additional five years.

Its marquee is on Millionaires Row, overlooking the straight of the Flemington track.

A keen racehorse owner, Brookes picked Dandino in the Melbourne Cup. Sadly, he ran fifth, and none of Brookes' own nags got a run.

"A couple of mine were running but they got bad legs - you just keep paying the bills," Brookes said. "You don't go into it on the basis of making money - you go into it on the basis of having fun."

International rule

Former Tabcorp boss and now Australian Securities Exchange chief Elmer Funke Kupper was backing a multitude of horses for the big race, employing an "international rule" for picking the winner, which produced a very elegant string of numbers.

"Someone told me, just now, that international horses have only ever won if they had a start before the Cup, so if they come here cold they have tried 66 times and never won, so my trifecta is four, six, eight and 10," he said.

Kupper did well on Derby day, saying he backed an outsider after copying someone else at the betting desk who looked confident.

That's the spirit

Diageo boss Tim Salt was playing host at the Johnnie Walker tent, where he was surrounded by enough whisky to drown several horses, including a glorious whisky, honey and gold dust fountain. Luckily, no guests fell in. He said he didn't have any scientific method for picking a winner and backed a few horses for the big race.

Doctor on course

He was rubbing shoulders with the great and good in the exclusive Birdcage enclosure at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday, but on the other side of the world disgraced doctor Geoffrey Edelsten is knee deep in a sordid legal dispute with a woman he met on website

CBD can reveal Edelsten has engaged American lawyers to collect just $US5000 ($5268) he won in a Victorian Supreme Court case against New Jersey woman Stacy da Silva. That's the case where, in October last year, Justice David Beach found that both Edelsten and da Silva were "prepared to mislead me in respect of any matter that they thought they could get away with".

Getting his $5268 has already cost Edelsten far more than that, with the helicopter-crashing former Sydney Swans owner forced to wear his own costs after Justice Beach declined to pin them on da Silva's solicitors.

Undeterred, Edelsten in July secured the $US5000 judgment from the New Jersey Superior Court, and his US lawyer Bruce J. Duke, esq. followed up in September with a subpoena demanding da Silva spill the beans on her finances.

Dressed in a luscious linen suit, the much-maligned miniature medico spent his day at the races soaking up the media attention lavished on his curvaceous wife Brynne.

But he was less keen to talk to CBD, who he usually only addresses through his Australia's Worst Journalist website.

Asked why he was spending so much money pursuing a claim for just $US5000, Edelsten said: "She broke confidentiality, that's why.

"I got the award against her; we're collecting it."

Plenty to talk about

Victorian Premier - and Minister for Racing - Denis Napthine started his day at the Moulin Rouge-themed G.H. Mumm marquee before escaping the high-kicking dancing girls to the relatively safety of Tabcorp's tent.

The country vet swapped race tips with celebrity chef Adam D'Sylva and was spotted deep in conversation with Tabcorp boss David Attenborough and the totalisator's chief regulatory officer Kerry Willcock.

Plenty to talk about, with Tabcorp suing Victoria for $1.2 billion and competition from corporate bookies on the rise.

Willcock said that given she spent some time living in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh she had to bet on Oakleigh Girl for the first race of the day and did well, with a win on the two-year-old filly.

She also backed Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, saying it was time for Gai Waterhouse to take the cup home.

Attenborough was relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere, saying the nerds back at Tabcorp HQ were looking after the computer systems for the company's biggest day, or as it is called inside the business, "our Christmas".

Tabcorp chairman Paula Dwyer told CBD the company was looking at betting into Hong Kong, giving Australian punters access to the racing-mad Chinese territory's deep tote pools.

"That's under way and in our plans. Betting the other way is an aspiration and we're working on it," she said.

Chicken menu

AFL star Chris Judd was also on Tabcorp's guest list, although CBD didn't spot him there. Guests gorged on treats including chicken and mushroom pies, chicken-schnitzel burgers and roast chicken, but chicken wings were not on the menu.

Millionaires Row

Ad guru John 'Singo' Singleton was waltzing down Millionaires Row having plenty of fun with his new partner, and her daughter Demi, after whom his Cup runner Dear Demi was named.

Singo heavily backed the horse in the race last week, but sadly it came in 19th.

He laughed off questions about when he might float his hotel venture Riversdale Group, which has recently tapped into a string of Sydney pubs, chuckling it would take time.

In the Boag's tent

The Boag's tent was packed as usual with all types of business people, celebrities and A-listers including Cadel Evans, who is pretty handy with a Malvern Star and has won a big race in France, CBD is reliably told.

Merchant banker Ron Malek was also in the Boag's tent, perhaps eyeing off the cheese platter and dreaming of the fees that will flow from the takeover battle for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter, which Boag's owner Lion has thrust itself into by snapping up a 9.9 per cent stake in the dairy group.

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