Virtual Grand National Takes Centre Stage For UK Punters

Virtual Grand National Takes Centre Stage For UK Punters
© PA

This Saturday was meant to be a date with destiny for the remarkable Tiger Roll, a two-time winner of the Aintree Grand National and going for an historic third consecutive win in the race this year.

The chance has gone of course due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has swept the globe and continues to keep sports of all codes either postponed, cancelled or tipping away behind closed doors until governments allow for any form of resumption.

Such is the grandeur of the big race, there has been a coming together of respective partners to elevate the recently invented Virtual Grand National to that of prime-time TV status in lieu of the real thing this Saturday afternoon.

With such a strain put upon the health services across the globe the bookmakers have aligned with British Horse Racing to pass all profits made from betting on the virtual race to the NHS Charities Together which helps fund the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.

How does the Virtual Grand National work?

It is a pre-determined result using data fed into a master simulator computer program and the race is then pre-recorded for showing on live television and ITV will show the race in full during a half-hour special this Saturday from 5pm.

As viewers may recall from the past couple of seasons the computer that is tasked with simulating the event has been pretty successful in predicting the official outcome and correctly predicted Tiger Roll landing the real Grand National in 2018.

Carm Productions, who manage the simulation and production, are committed to ensuring there will be no breach of confidentiality from the few people who will obviously know the result before millions watch on ITV this weekend. Bookmakers will not be privy to the outcome.

ITV viewers will be treated to a return of former lead presenter of horse racing’s flagship content from its former terrestrial TV home of Channel 4 as Nick Luck continues his recent association with the virtual version of the nation’s favourite race.

How can I bet on the Virtual Grand National?

Betting is allowed with many of the leading bookies this year and it’s all for a good cause to support the NHS in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Bets have been limited to £10 or €10 maximum stake for win bets or £10/€10 each-way bets. Places will be paid to fifth place and 1/5th of the odds.

It is sure to be peak viewing for many especially as usual horse racing has been postponed for the foreseeable future including the official end of the jumps season in Great Britain and Ireland, which has been confirmed in the last week.

Perhaps Tiger Roll can still create history, virtually at least, and then return in 2021 to have a real go at

Runners and Riders For 2020 Virtual Grand National

The list for runners, riders and the odds was confirmed on Wednesday and here are the details in full.

Number, Horse, Jockey, Odds, Weight

  • 1. Tiger Roll, Davy Russell, 5/1, 11-10
  • 2. Bristol De Mai, Daryl Jacob, 20/1, 11-8
  • 3. Aso, Charlie Deutsch, 66/1, 11-2
  • 4. Elegant Escape, Jonjo O'Neill jnr, 20/1, 11-2
  • 5. Anibale Fly, Barry Geraghty, 20/1, 11-2
  • 6. Top Ville Ben, Tom Dowson, 45/1, 11-2
  • 7. Beware The Bear, Jerry McGrath, 33/1, 11-0
  • 8. Peregrine Run, Kevin Sexton, 66/1, 10-13
  • 9. Jett, Sam Waley-Cohen, 50/1, 10-13
  • 10. Alpha Des Obeaux, Richard Johnson, 25/1, 10-13
  • 11. Total Recall, Paul Townend, 40/1, 10-13
  • 12. The Storyteller, Keith Donoghue, 40/1, 10-12
  • 13. Magic Of Light, Robbie Power, 18/1, 10-12
  • 14. Talkischeap, Tom Cannon, 25/1, 10-11
  • 15. Yala Enki, Bryony Frost, 28/1, 10-11
  • 16. Ballyoptic, Sam Twiston-Davies, 25/1, 10-11
  • 17. Burrows Saint, Rachael Blackmore, 12/1, 10-10
  • 18. Definitly Red, Brian Hughes, 14/1, 10-10
  • 19. Sub Lieutenant, JJ Slevin, 33/1, 10-9
  • 20. Ok Corral, Derek O’Connor, 25/1, 10-9
  • 21. Tout Est Permis, Sean Flanagan, 80/1, 10-9
  • 22. Vintage Clouds, Danny Cook, 33/1, 10-8
  • 23. Crievehill, Tom Bellamy, 66/1, 10-8
  • 24. Lake View Lad, Henry Brooke, 50/1, 10-8
  • 25. Jury Duty, Mark Enright, 40/1, 10-8
  • 26. Pleasant Company, David Mullins, 28/1, 10-7
  • 27. Acapella Bourgeois, Danny Mullins, 33/1, 10-6
  • 28. Shattered Love, Lisa O'Neill, 66/1, 10-6
  • 29. Any Second Now, Mark Walsh, 10/1, 10-6
  • 30. Potters Corner, Jack Tudor, 18/1, 10-6
  • 31. Dounikos, Luke Dempsey, 50/1, 10-5
  • 32. Kildisart, Nico de Boinville, 50/1, 10-5
  • 33. Death Duty, Gavin Brouder, 50/1, 10-5
  • 34. Ramses De Teillee, Tom Scudamore, 66/1, 10-5
  • 35. Valtor, James Bowen, 66/1, 10-4
  • 36. Saint Xavier, David Maxwell, 66/1, 10-4
  • 37. Warriors Tale, Harry Cobden, 80/1, 10-4
  • 38. Double Shuffle, Jonathan Burke, 100/1, 10-4
  • 39. Kimberlite Candy, Richie McLernon, 16/1, 10-4
  • 40. Walk In The Mill, James Best, 16/1, 10-4

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