Virtual Grand National

While the real Grand National at Aintree was one of the first major sporting events to have been cancelled in the UK due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s virtual cousin will still be run and this year it is to be televised by ITV as racing fans look for anything to satisfy their appetite.

The event takes place on Saturday April 4, the same day as the original Grand National was due to take place, and will be broadcast on ITV with an off time of 5PM.

How Will the Virtual Grand National Take Shape?

The 40 runners deemed most likely to have taken part for real in the 2020 National, including two-time winner Tiger Roll, will be taking part in the virtual race which uses CGI technology and a range of algorithms to run the race.

Virtual Grand National Runners

The latest in CGI is used along with the algorithms which load in data on each runner’s ability and performance allied with their allotted weight, along with details of ground conditions and so forth allowing the program to then run out the race to see if it is likely the amazing Tiger Roll could have matched Red Rum’s achievement of winning three Nationals.

Is This the First Time There Has Been a Virtual Grand National?

A virtual Grand National, used previously as a simple forerunner to the real thing, has been produced by Carm Productions since 2017 and with amazing accuracy in terms of results.

Since the virtual race was inaugurated it has predicted several placed horses, while of its three winning predictions one was successful and the other two missed out by a matter of inches.  Here is a comparison of results so far:


Predicted Result Actual Result
1st Rathvinden Tiger Roll
2nd Tiger Roll Magic Of Light
3rd Jury Duty Rathvinden
4th Anibale Fly Walk In The Mill
5th Vintage Clouds Anibale Fly
6th Pleasant Company One For Arthur


Predicted Result Actual Result
1st Tiger Roll Tiger Roll
2nd Chase The Spud Pleasant Company
3rd Total Recall Bless The Wings
4th Houblon Des Obeaux Anibale Fly
5th Vieux Lion Rouge Milansbar
6th Blaklion Road To Riches


Predicted Result Actual Result
1st Cause Of Causes One For Arthur
2nd Pleasant Company Cause Of Causes
3rd Vieux Lion Rouge Saint Are
4th Vicente Blaklion
5th Blaklion Gas Line Boy
6th The Young Master Vieux Lion Rouge

Race of Champions

Alongside the Virtual Grand National for 2020, a new Race of Champions is also set to be staged featuring winners old and young including Tiger Roll, Hedgehunter and the great Red Rum.

Of course, in real life it is impossible to say who the best of the best really is as the fences are now easier and each champion had to run in different conditions, however the result will be a fascinating insight into what the algorithms think when it comes to who is the best Grand National winner ever, pound for pound.

Are Odds Available on the Virtual Grand National?

In its three runnings to date no betting books have been offered up on the Virtual Grand National, however it could be different this year as the betting public increasingly look to plug the hole left by the lack of real racing around the country.

Given that most people are thoroughly satisfied now that the result is not fixed in the layers’ favour and that even those who have help to input data cannot know what the end result will be, bookmakers look sure to price up the event set for Saturday April 4.