The bookmakers were licking their wounds after 10-1 joint favourite, Don't Push It, did exactly the opposite under AP McCoy to pull away from Denis O'Regan on Black Apalachi in the closing stages of the 2010 Grand National at Aintree.

AP McCoy's unprecedented display of emotion after winning the race on the JP McManus owned Don't Push It was balanced only by the grimaces of the bookmakers. At last, the champion Jockey had ridden a Grand National winner at his 15th attempt and prolific billionaire owner, JP McManus, had his name added to the Grand National hall of fame. Jubilant trainer, Jonjo O'Neill, was full of praise for both horse and jockey after the race.

Paul Nicholls' horse, Big Fella Thanks, had been the clear favourite in the ante post Grand National betting market for weeks. Ruby Walsh had chosen him over the other highly credible Nicholls candidates, topped by Tricky Trickster. Big Fella Thanks held on to the top spot in the Grand National betting market on the day until Ruby Walsh suffered an arm shattering fall from Celestial Halo in the John Smith's Dick Francis Hurdle.

Walsh was leading at the time and looked the likely winner at the third last when Celestial Halo plummeted and Walsh was badly trampled by the following field. The screens went up around Walsh and the hospital visit wasn't a formality.

As the news of the extent of Walsh's injuries broke, Grand National punters suddenly piled on to Don't Push It, aware that Big Fella Thanks would no longer have the benefit of the Grand National master jock, Ruby Walsh, on board.

Don't Push It shortened rapidly in the late surge of Grand National Betting and joined Big Fella Thanks at 10-1 as joint favourite.

Meanwhile, Barry Geraghty picked up the ride on Big Fella Thanks and, eventually starting as joint favourite, coaxed his mount into fourth commenting that he just didn't quite get the trip. Finishing in a place, the result bombarded the bookies with each-way punts.

The second placed Black Apalachi, trained by Dessie Hughes, had attracted plenty of punters' interest too following his impressive 2009 Grand National run where he was among the leaders until falling at Bechers second time.

Once again ridden by the highly regarded Denis O'Regan, many punters who had enjoyed a good run for their money in 2009 backed him again in 2010, sending him off at 14-1. O'Regan was philosophical about his defeat to Don't Push It after the race commenting that he simply got beaten by a better horse on the day.

Punters that were on him wondered if the result could have been different if he hadn't been drawn into such a swift early pace by the free running Conna Castle who pulled up after his exertions a few fences from home.

The third placed horse, State of Play, trained by Evan Williams and ridden by Paul Moloney, also had previous form over the Aintree fences and figured highly in the Grand National betting, setting out at 16-1. It wasn't just the winning favourite that wounded the bookmakers, there were massive place bet pay outs to be settled too.

The bookies looked on in dismay as the heavily backed joint favourite, Don't Push It, won while his joint favourite counterpart, Big Fella Thanks, ran into a place. Have the first four in the Grand National Betting all been less than 20-1 ever before?

Those bookmakers who paid out for places on the fifth horse would probably have regretted their generosity as Sam Twiston-Davis, son of trainer Nigel, made it into fifth on board Hello Bud at 20-1. A great but ultimately unfulfilling family story when it comes to the major placings. The canny pundits reckon that it's only a question of time before the seventeen year old Sam makes it first across the line at Aintree.

The 2010 Grand National was a great race. There was tension from the beginning as King Johns Castle, a fancied 25-1 shot who was runner-up to Comply Or Die in 2008, owned by JP McManus and ridden by Paul Carberry, planted himself at the start and was partly responsible for the false start that can over-excite some of the more highly strung runners.

Having lost one horse at the outset, the race unfolded fairly with many of the main fancies in with a chance at the end. McCoy's uncharacteristic display of delight at finally achieving the goal that had so conspicuously eluded him brought home just how much this means – even to the toughened professionals.

This was also a national that will not provoke unwanted attention from the animal rights brigade – there were no major casualties – except the bookmakers.

Talking of casualties, there may be one thing for Paul Nicholls' notebook. My Will fell at the 4th under Nick Scholfield and fell yet again, unpiloted, later on in the race, bringing down other runners. Yes, he managed to get round with Walsh's assistance in 2009 and got third, but perhaps it would be better to look for opportunities unencumbered by the Aintree national fences in the future.

The trend for the shorter price winner in the Grand National betting was well and truly resumed in 2010 - it was the punters rather than the bookmakers who were popping the champagne corks after the race.

Grand National betting

How they finished in the 2010 Grand National:

  1. Don't Push It 10/1 jt-fav
  2. Black Apalachi 14/1
  3. State of Play 16/1
  4. Big Fella Thanks 10/1 jt-fav
  5. Hello Bud 20/1
  6. Snowy Morning 14/1
  7. Character Building 16/1
  8. Cloudy lane 25/1
  9. Tricky Trickster 16/1
  10. Joe Lively 33/1
  11. Cerium 50/1
  12. Comply Or Die 12/1
  13. Piraya 100/1
  14. Preists Leap 100/1

40 ran. 14 finished.

Best Bookies for Grand National Betting:

  1. Bet365
    £200 Free Bet
  2. Betfred
    £50 Free Bet
  3. Stan James
    £10 Free Bet
  4. Paddy Power
    £20 Free
  5. BetVictor
    £25 Free Bet