For the first time in history, the grand national is not going ahead due to the continuing restrictions on movement in force from the government to protect as many people as possible from the coronavirus.
This means that the thrill of the races, the betting and the anticipation of your horse taking a place or even better winning the whole thing is about to be re-imagined online as the Virtual Grand National!
Although it has been running for a couple of years, this year it is now the main event and source of our entertainment to break up the continuing Netflix binges.
We have done the digging on the Grand National Website for you and pulled out the key facts for everything you need to know about the big virtual day.
First things first, what about the horses?
Well, they are all going to be recreated using the latest state of the art technology in CGI.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a confirmed list of CGI runners yet, but we do know that they are expecting the original runners from the actual day to be ‘there’. Of course, we are expecting at least our favourites to be there such as Tiger Roll.
But how can a virtual race happen?
So with all the horses loaded into the virtual race, we have been told that the race will then be run with a range of algorithms, which (thank goodness) matches all our betting choice criteria, such as;
- Weather conditions on the day
- Recent form
- Track form
- Past grand national trends
- Age and more
All this information should then produce a virtual winner likely to have been the real winner if the event had taken place!
So we have a race, but can I bet as I used too?
Horse racing betting is thin on the ground overall and the official grand national website has expressed that they are expecting bookmakers to support the virtual grand national with their betting odds and betting offers.
And from the information that has been provided so far, these odds look even better than the usual betting.
While we are used to placing a cheeky bet each way and hoping that one of our many options will get us into places 1-2-3-4, they are expecting bookmakers to enhance their each-way place terms as far down as 6th, 7th and 8th. Some have even hinted at down to 9th, but you will need to continue looking out for the best virtual Grand National Odds and Offers.
The site also states that they believe all bookmakers are close to announcing that they will donate all proceeds to the NHS to support them in dealing with the effects of coronavirus.
With such limited social interaction available to us and limited entertainment as we stay housebound, the organisers are hoping that this popular event will bring in an even larger crowd, even if it is simulated by a computer.
I’m in! Give me a tip! Who should I be betting on?
- Of course, we have Tiger Roll, who continues to be a hot favourite after winning the previous two years.
- Irish Grand National Winner Burrows Saint is in the mix!
- 2019 runner up Magic Of Light is a firm favourite, one of the only mares in the race, she will be the same age as Tiger Roll when he won last year and has been running well this season.
- Forth one on the list of our top tips is Walk In the Mill, he acts well on the track and was only beaten in 2019 by 16 lengths!
I think I might be opting for these 4 each way!
I’m in, I have got my tips and done my betting, where do I watch it?
The event will be streaming live on ITV at 5:15 pm, Saturday 4th April.
Re-runs will be expected to be shown on YouTube and we are also expecting your chosen bookmaker to stream it live (if you have met their minimum betting requirements)