The fourth annual virtual Grand National will take place on Saturday, April 4, giving horse racing fans and punters the chance to view a simulation of the famous race. The virtual race will be shown live on television in the United Kingdom courtesy of ITV, who offers up racing on terrestrial broadcasts each weekend. The virtual Grand National gives punters the chance to wager on racing in an exciting new way. Punters can visit the best horse racing betting sites to get the latest bet bonuses before wagering on the horse they believe will win the simulated race. 

The virtual Grand National will use advanced CGI technology to simulate the famous Aintree event. The event will have all 40 horses expected to run in the Grand National along with virtual versions of their real jockeys. The virtual Grand National will have a clear winner that is weighted on characteristics and specifications of each horses. “Special algorithms” will be used to determine the running and the outcome of the exciting simulation set for the first Saturday in April at 5pm. 

Manchester’s Inspired Entertainment’s animation team has developed the advanced CGI technology that is used in the virtual version of the Grand National. The virtual race will use a horse’s past form, the opinions of horse racing experts, and the going and weather conditions on the day of the actual Grand National to predict the likely outcome of the event. Top horse racing commentator Stewart Machin will call the race.

This year’s virtual Grand National will not be the first time the race has been run as a simulation. In 2017, the first year of the simulated race, a virtual version of the race was held and featured some “incredibly close calls”. Cause of Causes won the inaugural virtual Grand National but came second by four-and-a-half lengths in the actual race that same year.

In 2018, the computer algorithms proved it could predict the winner of the actual Grand National. The algorithms correctly predicted Tiger Roll’s Grand National win. Last year, the computer simulation predicated three of the first five finishers of the real Grand National. 

Although the 2020 version of the virtual Grand National is not a new event, it is expected to draw far more attention than ever before. Leading sportsbooks have not posted odds on the virtual Grand National as of yet. It is likely that they are waiting to gain further information on the race before posting odds. 

Bookmakers are expected to offer odds in the days leading up to the virtual race. Sportsbooks will list the race under the “virtual” sections on their websites and it is claimed odds will be very similar to the actual odds of the real horse race.

ITV has also confirmed it will broadcast a special race entitled the “Race of Champions” on the same day. The special will pit some of the most legendary names in horse racing against each other. The event will include three-time Grand National winner Red Rum and two-time winner Tiger Roll in a virtual race.