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Clouds a silver lining for bookies

Leighton Aspell on winner Many Clouds.Leighton Aspell on winner Many Clouds.

Bookmakers were left toasting Oliver Sherwood and Leighton Aspell after Many Clouds’ victory in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday proved a big result for the layers.

The anticipated swell of support for Tony McCoy in his final ever National arrived close to the off and Shutthefrontdoor, the 6-1 favourite, was sent on his way to give the perennial champion jockey a fairytale ending to his glorious career.

The market leader travelled well for a long way, but eventually weakened and the fact he finished out of the places in fifth only added to bookmakers’ glee with the winner obliging at 25-1.

Big priced runners filled the places behind the winner with Saint Are (25-1), Monbeg Dude (40-1) and Alvarado (20-1) further aiding positive results for the betting firms.

David Williams of Ladbrokes said: “It’s been another cracking Grand National for us.

“We were cheering every runner apart from Shutthefrontdoor. He was the only one we were sweating about in the race and when he started to tire we were able to relax.

“As Many Clouds raced up to the line we knew we were on the right side of a £30m windfall across the entire industry.”

While William Hill were facing shelling out £13 million to 200,000 lucky customers that backed the winner, the result was still not seen as a disaster.

Hills spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: “It was a record-breaking race in terms of popularity with Britain’s public punting more than ever before.

“Not quite a record-breaking win for bookmakers with plenty of punters picking up winnings, but there’s enough in the coffers to celebrate.”

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