With the 2020 Grand National postponed this year, horse racing fans around the world will be looking to find a major meeting to follow instead. Step forward the 2020 Virtual Grand National – which will be broadcast LIVE on ITV on Saturday evening.
Our horse racing tips and news expert has already produced a 2020 Virtual Grand National preview ahead of this weekend’s big race. Without further ado, scroll down to access all of the ‘need to know’ information regarding the event.
When Is The 2020 Virtual Grand National?
This year’s Virtual Grand National will take place at 5:15pm BST on Saturday 4th April 2020. As is the case in the real-life race, 40 runners will go to post in a bid to claim victory in one of the biggest races of the year.
Carm Productions are the company at the centre of producing the Virtual Grand National, with cutting-edge CGI technology and sophisticated software used to predict the outcome of the race.
In years gone by, the Virtual Grand National has taken place on the Friday evening before the real-life event but this year it will take centre stage – fingers crossed for an exciting and entertaining affair.
Virtual Grand National: Previous Winners
The first televised Virtual Grand National took place in 2017, with the JP McManus-owned Cause of Causes claiming a famous victory. Less than 24 hours after that result, Cause of Causes finished second in the real Aintree race – backing up the virtual technology.
12 months on, Tiger Roll secured the Grand National double. He came from way back with a strong run to claim victory in the Virtual Grand National before storming to victory over course and distance the following day.
In 2019, Rathvinden got the better of his rivals in the virtual race. Tiger Roll tried his best but to no avail, however the placings were reversed in the real-life race at Aintree. Overall, the computer predictions have been very accurate.
How To Watch The 2020 Virtual Grand National
As previously mentioned, ITV will be broadcasting the Virtual Grand National 2020 race live on Saturday evening. Popular racing broadcaster Nick Luck will present the event and millions of people are expected to tune in to watch the virtual Aintree race.
Horse racing fans will also be able to follow the action live through the ITV Hub, providing users have an account. If not, simply set up an account to access the live broadcast via an online stream or through the app.
Virtual Grand National 2020: Betting
At the time of writing, odds have not been priced up for the 2020 Virtual Grand National. If markets become available, punters will be able to find odds in the horse racing betting section of the 888sport website.
We already have odds available on the 2021 Grand National. Tiger Roll is a worthy favourite at 14/1 but Cheltenham Festival winner Easysland might be worth chancing at 33/1 given how impressive he was in the 2020 Cross Country Chase.
If/when odds become available for the 2020 Virtual Grand National, we will post a list of the market principles here.
Confirmed Runners: 2020 Virtual Grand National
Tiger Roll heads the weights ahead of the 2020 Virtual Grand National. The Gordon Elliott runner will have plenty of support for Saturday's big race - here is the full list of confirmed entries, their jockey and allocated weight.
1 - Tiger Roll (Davy Russell), 11-10
2 - Bristol de Mai (Daryl Jacob), 11-8
3 - Aso (Charlie Deutsch), 11-2
4 - Elegant Escape (Jonjo O'Neill. Jr), 11-2
5 - Anibale Fly (Barry Geraghty), 11-2
6 - Top Vile Ben (Tom Dowson), 11-2
7 - Beware The Bear (Jerry McGrath), 11-0
8 - Peregrine Run (Kevin Sexton), 10-13
9 - Jett (Sam Waley-Cohen), 10-13
10 - Alpha Des Obeaux (Richard Johnson), 10-13
11 - Total Recall (Paul Townend), 10-13
12 - The Storyteller (Keith Donoghue), 10-12
13 - Magic of Light (Robbie Power), 10-12
14 - Talkischeap (Tom Cannon), 10-11
15 - Yala Enki (Bryony Frost), 10-11
16 - Ballyoptic (Sam Twiston-Davies), 10-11
17 - Burrows Saint (Rachael Blackmore), 10-10
18 - Definitly Red (Brian Hughes), 10-10
19 - Sub Lieutenant (JJ Slevin), 10-9
20 - Ok Corral (Derek O'Connor), 10-9
21 - Tout Est Permis (Sean Flanagan), 10-9
22 - Vintage Clouds (Danny Cook), 10-8
23 - Crievehill (Tom Bellamy), 10-8
24 - Lake View Lad (Henry Brooke), 10-8
25 - Jury Duty (Mark Enright), 10-8
26 - Pleasant Company (David Mullins), 10-7
27 - Acapella Bourgeois (Danny Mullins), 10-6
28 - Shattered Love (Lisa O'Neill), 10-6
29 - Any Second Now (Mark Walsh), 10-6
30 - Potters Corner (Jack Tudor), 10-6
31 - Dounikos (Luke Dempsey), 10-5
32 - Kildisart (Nico de Boinville), 10-5
33 - Death Duty (Gavin Brouder), 10-5
34 - Ramses de Teillee (Tom Scudamore), 10-5
35 - Valtor (James Bowen), 10-4
36 - Saint Xavier (David Maxwell), 10-4
37 - Warriors Tale (Harry Cobden), 10-4
38 - Double Shuffle (Jonathan Burke), 10-4
39 - Kimberlite Candy (Richie McLernon), 10-4
40 - Walk In The Mill (James Best), 10-4
Virtual Grand National 2020: Betting Tips
Neutrals will be hoping that Tiger Roll can win off top weight but I'm looking to take the favourite on. Any Second Now is unexposed and should run a big race off 10-6 with the experienced Mark Walsh on board.
JP McManus won the Grand National with Don't Push It in 2010 and punters will be keeping a close eye on horse racing odds ahead of Saturday's virtual event.
Meanwhile, Kildisart is also worth an each way punt with Nico de Boinville booked. The form of the 2019 JLT Novices' Chase has worked out well, with runner up Lostintranslation finishing a gallant third in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Based on that and Kildisart's gutsy effort to finish second in the Ultima Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival, he is my outside tip to run into the places.
Grand National 2021: Horse Racing News
In 2021, Tiger Roll will bid to become the first horse since Red Rum to win the Aintree showpiece three times. Punters can find the latest Grand National 2021 betting odds on the 888sport website, along with the latest horse racing tips, news and odds.
*Credit for the main photo belongs to Matt Dunham / AP Photo*