Virtual Grand National

ITV have announced that they'll screen the Grand National next week despite the race not actually taking place.

A computer-simulated version of the 2020 race using CGI technology and special algorithms will be run, featuring the 40 horses most likely to take part.

We'll never know if Tiger Roll would've won the most famous race in the world in three consecutive years but at least we'll still get to witness a version of the spectacular event.

The virtual race will be broadcast by ITV at 17:00 BST on Saturday April 4th – the same day the actual race was scheduled to run.

Executive producer Rob McLoughlin said: “We use the latest CGI technology and algorithms and were ready to go ahead as a forerunner to the big race, but now we want to cheer the nation up and ask the computer if history could have been made.”

The virtual Grand National has been run since 2017 when Cause of Causes won, then finished second in the real race just a matter of hours later. In 2018 Tiger Roll won both the virtual race and the actual Grand National then in 2019 the computer-generated version predicted three of the top finishers including Tiger Roll.

There will also be a race of champions, featuring previous winners such as Red Rum and Tiger Roll which should also provide some good entertainment.

BBCSport stated “It is not yet clear whether bookmakers will be taking bets on the virtual race.” – I think that's VIRTUALLY guaranteed!

6 Comments
  1. sean ireland 2 years ago

    If they do take bets on it you can be almost guaranteed they have it set up for Tiger Roll to fall after a couple of fences to guarantee a good day for the bookies.

    • elvis parsley 2 years ago

      Can’t wait to see Mick Fitzgerald interview the winning jockey.

      Wonder if they will have retro commentary, “and over to John hamner’.
      Remember him, only did one race a year 😁

  2. jinx 2 years ago

    I might be thick but i dont really get how it works, surely its more likely just to pick the favourites. Horse racing has to be one of the most volatile sports to bet on given how many underdogs actually place. That’s the beauty of the national picking the outsiders. But how would an algorithm pick a 50/1 shot to place given that the horses form is rubbish¿ Anyway such a shame the race is off i would of loved to see tiger roll win it

    • Mr Fixit 2 years ago

      You have to remember virtual horse racing exists all year round – it’s not just been invented during coronavirus.
      I believe around a quarter of bets placed on races are on virtual ones.
      As for getting a 50-1 winner – I also believe the winner is randomly picked by a number generator.
      I could be wrong there but for sure some bookies do it that way.

  3. jinx 2 years ago

    Its more like a lottery then, so checking form ect goes out the window¿ just wondering what kind of tactics people use on virtual betting, do people really prefer betting on a virtual race/match than the real thing¿ or is it just gamblers, a match going off every few minutes could get costly

    • Mr Fixit 2 years ago

      I think most people pick them because of their names or take a lucky number.
      For sure it’s like doing the lottery.

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