Coronation for King Pritch as rivals see crown jewels slip away

SUNNY conditions caught most of our racers off-guard after they turned up to compete in raincoats and galoshes, when shorts and runners proved the go. Only a trio of our racers beat the 3 per cent bounce in the market, the rest straggled behind.

SUNNY conditions caught most of our racers off-guard after they turned up to compete in raincoats and galoshes, when shorts and runners proved the go. Only a trio of our racers beat the 3 per cent bounce in the market, the rest straggled behind.

After an eternity of wandering through the wilderness, Richard Pritchard has charted a path back to the Throne of Investing Awesomeness, where he now sits and gracefully receives supplicants. Pritchard's top pick of Kibaran Resources, which is exploring for graphite and nickel in Tanzania, jumped more than 20 per cent in the final week to be up 36 per cent overall. Not far behind was IT consultancy Oakton, which sprang 18 per cent over the final stretch to finish 30 per cent higher.

Reader Tim Martin chased Pritchard gamely, but in the end was lucky to cling on to second spot after a barnstorming finish from architect Ian Burch. Burch added a massive 4.7 per cent to his pile over the final five trading days, only to fall an agonising $360 short of a silver medal. Ian's picks of Nido Petroleum (up 18 per cent) and Webjet (18 per cent) catapulted him up the ladder.

Martin, on the other hand, made just enough money to hang on. The savvy reader had a generally very conservative portfolio bar a couple of riskier stocks, both of which paid off handsomely. NSL Consolidated and Syrah Resources each finished about 20 per cent ahead, while it was only AGL Energy that lost some ground. Well played, sir.

Medical student Alice Pearlman slipped agonisingly outside the medals, let down by some horrid performances from OZ Minerals and Tabcorp.

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