WHAT a race! What a year! What a man! Contract manager David Peda has pipped the often-garlanded Doreen Daze to eke out the narrowest of victories and claim an early Christmas prize. His victory was built on pizzas and Coca-Cola, groceries and hardware, fried chicken and frozen pies: the quotidian sustenance of the little Aussie battler. The exquisitely rendered ''Statuette of Shares Race Splendour'' (the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, bespectacled and holding aloft a bejewelled abacus) will look great in his poolroom.
Business manager Manish Bansal discovered a second wind late in the final stretch, adding $2500 to his pile in a week when half the racers lost ground. His best was also the best of the competition overall after Mayne Pharma finished 18 per cent up, earning him the coveted ''Golden Marmot'' award for best pick.
That red-suited bearded fellow - you know, the one keen on judging people - had a good final week. And while it wasn't enough to get him out of the hole he dug in the previous three sessions, it was, somewhat surprisingly, good enough to land him in fourth spot. Breville was his best performer, so don't be surprised if you find a toasted-sandwich maker in your stocking this Christmas.
Finally, what to say about Dartboard, Pottsy and Richard Pritchard, who populate the lowest rungs of the ladder as 2012 draws to a close? Perhaps we may humbly suggest some New Year's resolutions. Dartboard: Don't over-think things. Richard: Look for happiness outside a spreadsheet. And Pottsy: Wean yourself off speccy miners - or 2013 will be a cruel one.