From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

That's the way it's going to be, little darling. Picking a winner in the Melbourne Cup can be difficult, especially if you can't make head nor tail of a form guide that mentions "stayers" and "international raiders" or if Godolphin sounds like a character in a Lord of the Rings spin-off. Behold, Ms Tips' guide to the race that stops the nation, mainly based on what jokes can be made about each of the horses. Yesterday our esteemed colleague Guy Rundle wrote that we should be preparing for a Donald Trump presidency. If that is something you want to put money on, your best bet is Big Orange, in barrier seven. Closer to home, Bondi Beach is the horse for you if you're backing a Tony Abbott return to power or Grey Lion if you're more of a Turnbull fan. Beautiful Romance could be the horse for you if you are 'shipping Jacqui Lambie and Derryn Hinch after their Midwinter Ball date, while Excess Knowledge is not the horse for One Nation fans -- we know there's none of that there. Secret Number is the horse for those who wonder what is missing from the many redacted pages in Josh Taylor's freedom of information requests. And before you fob off these ideas as just a bit of fun, we picked a winner with Protectionism in 2014. It will be Heartbreak City at the end of the day for most people who have a punt -- don't forget the system is rigged against you.