Baptism of dire dabblings in dark times

JUST as we were preparing to bask in that sweet "new race" smell, our nostrils have been clogged with a stinker of a week on the markets.

JUST as we were preparing to bask in that sweet "new race" smell, our nostrils have been clogged with a stinker of a week on the markets.

The resources stocks were the anchor that dragged the market down 2 per cent as traders took news that China's economy might grow by less than 8 per cent annually in the years to come as a sure sign of the coming apocalypse.

Into this maelstrom plunge our plucky racers, only to be strewn this way and that by the malevolent market forces. Only two of our brave crew - dizzy Doreen Daze and the indomitable Pottsy - made any coppers after five days of carnage.

Not to get all Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on you but what you need in these dark times is a hero. Doreen found hers in Pura Vida Energy (up 40 per cent), while Oil Basins rode in on its white horse to rescue the fair Pottsy, who would have been in some distress were it not for the oil explorer's 28 per cent jump.

Translator Primrose Riordan was our most consistent performer. A strike rate of 40 per cent when it came to winners versus losers kept her ahead of the market and in touch with the leaders. She broadly eschewed the ever-popular explorers to focus on energy and healthcare. Phosphagenics has a great name and put in an equally great performance - up 8 per cent.

All our other racers did worse than the market, and it's a very crowded field down there. Engineer Andrew Hutchinson was the best of the rest but he's only $1200 ahead of Dartboard, who we suspect is starting to make himself at home in the cellar.

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