Smallest loser wins in a roller-coaster test of endurance

HERE'S a grim statistic for you: fewer than two of every 10 picks made any money during the four weeks of this competition.

HERE'S a grim statistic for you: fewer than two of every 10 picks made any money during the four weeks of this competition.

No wonder none of our racers finished above water. Indeed, the eventual winner - reader Mark Rice - lost 5.5 per cent on his way to mounting the Rickety Tin Podium of Relative Success, to receive the Shares Race Wonky Cardboard Crown of Humble Victory.

That's not to say it wasn't an exciting race. No, by gum, it was a thrilling game of The Smallest Loser, an entertaining contest our professional fund managers have been playing with our superannuation for the past five years or so. Rice only just squeaked past legal writer Georgina Dent in the final stretch after gold miner Newcrest Mining added a mammoth 3.3 per cent to its share price. There was only one bad apple in Dent's bunch: Image Resources sunk 24 per cent and took Dent's chances down with it.

Lawyer Louise Virgona couldn't match the index plunge of 7 per cent overall, but did better than the rest of our field to claim third spot. Virgona actually had a strong final week: Maverick Drilling, CSL and the aforementioned Newcrest Mining all recorded gains. But her portfolio was undone by former blue chip QBE and Bandanna Energy.

Director Marc Ryan made some money. Argo Exploration popped 36 per cent. And that was enough to haul himself above the hapless Richard Pritchard to claim fifth place. But the best performer for the week was - drum roll please - David Potts! Southern Cross Gold sizzled, Westside Corporation sparkled and Senex Energy surged, but all too little too late.


1st Mark Rice Reader

Asciano $9593

BHP Billiton $9114

C'wlth Bank of Aust $9545

Crown $9448

Leighton Hldgs $8807

Lend Lease Grp stp $9973

Macquarie Grp $9458

Newcrest Min $9738

QBE Insurance Grp $8952

Wesfarmers $9860


2nd Georgina Dent Legal Writer

Aristocrat Leisure $9393

Austar United $10,000

Coca-Cola Amatil $10,184

Data#3 $8778

Image Res $7778

Jumbuck Entertain $9783

Medigard $10,000

QBE Insurance Grp $8952

Spotless Grp $10,325

Tanami Gold $9023


3rd Louise Virgona Lawyer

Bandanna Energy $5899

CSL $9942

Macquarie Grp $9458

Maverick Drilling $7889

Newcrest Min $9738

Origin Energy $9678

QBE Insurance Grp $8952

Telstra Corp $10,057

Woodside Petroleum $8999

Woolworths $10,418


4th Doreen Daze Astrologer

Blackthorn Res $7025

Central Petroleum $10,581

Gryphon Minerals $7676

Legend Min $8500

Neon Energy $7857

Orchid Capital $10,000

Qube Logistics $9530

ResMed Inc cdi $10,552

Sirtex Medical $9429

Trafalgar Corp stp $9850


5th Marc Ryan Director, Barrisol

Argo Explore $7727

Cochlear $9735

Crown $9448

DEXUS Prop Grp stp $10,331

JB Hi-Fi $8450

Lynas Corp $7892

Metal Storm $10,000

Oil Basins $7813

Saracen Min $9065

Westfield Retail Tr stp $9963


6th Richard Pritchard Chartist

Atlas Iron $7038

Biota Hldgs $9939

Blackthorn Res $7025

Brockman Res $10,335

CogState $9825

Dart Min $8333

Insurance Aust Grp $9320

Middle Island Res $6892

Stratum Metals $8793

Wesfarmers $9860


7th Dartboard

Alkane Res $7452

Ausdrill $8099

Automotive Hldgs $9760

CSL $9942

Imdex $6655

Magellan Flagship $9759

New Standard Energy $8448

NuCoal Res $7258

Soul Pattinson $9572

Thundelarra Explore $7273


8th David Potts Money

Beach Energy $7801

Gold Road Res $8511

Oil Basins $7813

OZ Minerals $8631

Rex Minerals $8585

Senex Energy $7293

Seven West Media $8694

Sthn Cross Gold $7586

Tap Oil $8113

Westside Corp $8681


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