With the Grand National 2020 in Aintree naturally canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Virtual Grand National takes its place.
Usually an aperitif before the main event, the virtual version of the famous steeplechase takes center stage on Saturday.
Operating for three years now, the Virtual Grand National uses special technology to create a virtual form of Aintree’s centerpiece.
As Aintree is abandoned, millions of people are expected to log in on Saturday for the Virtual Grand National.
The Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) revealed on Wednesday that betting companies will donate profits from the Virtual Grand National to the NHS Charities Group to help them fight Covid-19.
“The Aintree Grand National is undoubtedly the most popular race in the world and the Virtual Grand National will be a welcome distraction for viewers during this very difficult time,” said Barry Orr of Betfair.
But how does the Virtual Grand National work? Here, Sportsmail answers key questions surrounding the computerized four-mile race.
The Virtual Grand National will take place after the cancellation of the Grand National due to Covid-19
How does Virtual Grand National work?
Like other virtual races, which happen all the time, the Virtual Grand National deploys computer generated imagery (CGI) technology and algorithms to create a simulated version of the race.
The technology takes into account the shape of the runners as well as their walking preferences to produce a result.
The Virtual Grand National includes 40 runners and 30 fences, including The Chair and Becher’s Brook, which make Aintree racing so special.
Virtual Grand National uses CGI technology and algorithms to create a simulated version
Rob McLoughlin, executive producer, said, “We use the latest CGI technologies and algorithms and were ready to move forward as a precursor to the big race, but now we want to cheer up the nation and ask the computer if history could have been made.
“It’s very sad not to have the real race but it’s fascinating and fun and as proven since 2017 incredibly precise. “
Cause of Causes won the Virtual Grand National before finishing second in the real thing in 2017, Tiger Roll was victorious in both a year later and Rathvinden passed the post after the Virtual Grand National and finished third in Aintree in 2019.
The Grand National Virtual is pre-recorded and will be broadcast on ITV on Saturday at 5 p.m.
“Information about horses is fed into the software, which helps determine the likelihood of their potential end position,” said Steve Rogers, Commercial Director of Virtual Sports at Inspired.
“This probability is based on their past form and their performance in other races. In addition to that, an element of artificial intelligence is involved in how horses move around the course, how they jump over fences and how they interact with each other.
“Then, as always with the Grand National, there is an element of unpredictability, which makes it so fascinating. “
The Virtual Grand National is pre-recorded and will be broadcast on ITV on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Who are the runners and runners?
The special will feature the 40 horses and riders most likely to race the spectacular Aintree on Saturday night and try to answer the key question of the race.
Could the Tiger have won the 2020 race and entered the history books as a triple consecutive winner?
The Gordon-Elliott-trained Tiger Roll leads the peloton with other runners we saw at the Cheltenham Festival a few weeks ago in the lineup as well.
Tiger Roll (center), bidding to enter the Aintree record book, leads the pack
|Runner number||Last name||Jockey||Price||Wgt|
|1||Tiger roll||Davy Russell||5/1||11-10|
|2||Bristol May||Daryl Jacob||1/20||11-8|
|4||Elegant getaway||Jonjo ONeill Jr.||1/20||11-2|
|5||Anibale Fly||Barry Geraghty||1/20||11-2|
|6||Top Ville Ben||Tom dowson||45/1||11-2|
|seven||Beware of the bear||Jerry McGrath||1/3||11-0|
|8||Peregrine Run||Kevin Sexton||66/1||10-13|
|ten||Alpha Des Obeaux||Richard Johnson||25/1||10-13|
|11||Total recall||Paul Townend||40/1||10-13|
|12||The narrator||Keith Donoghue||40/1||10-12|
|13||Magic Of Light||Robbie Power||1/18||10-12|
|14||Talking is not expensive||Tom cannon||25/1||10-11|
|15||Yala Enki||Bryony Frost||28/1||10-11|
|17||Burrows saint||Rachael Blackmore||12/1||10-10|
|18||Definitely red||Brian Hughes||1/14||10-10|
|19||Second lieutenant||JJ Slevin||1/3||10-9|
|20||Ok corral||Derek OConnor||25/1||10-9|
|21||Everything is allowed||Sean Flanagan||80/1||10-9|
|22||Vintage clouds||Danny Cook||1/3||10-8|
|24||Lake view lad||Henry Brooke||50/1||10-8|
|25||Legal Department||Mark Enright||40/1||10-8|
|26||Pleasant business||David Mullins||28/1||10-7|
|27||Acapella Bourgeois||Danny Mullins||1/3||10-6|
|28||Broken love||Lisa O’Neill||66/1||10-6|
|29||Any second now||Mark walsh||10/1||10-6|
|30||Potters Corner||Jack tudor||1/18||10-6|
|32||Kildisart||Nico de boinville||50/1||10-5|
|33||Death duty||Gavin Brouder||50/1||10-5|
|34||Ramses De Teillee||Tom scudamore||66/1||10-5|
|36||Saint Xavier||David Maxwell||66/1||10-4|
|37||Warriors Tale||Harry cobden||80/1||10-4|
|38||Double Shuffle||Jonathan Burke||100/1||10-4|
|39||Kimberlite candy||Richie mclernon||1/16||10-4|
|40||Walk in the mill||James Best||1/16||10-4|
Do bookmakers take bets on the race?
Yes, but the betting companies will not make any profit.
As mentioned, all profits made by major betting centers will be donated to NHS Charities Together, which covers more than 140 NHS charities.
Virtual Grand National Bets Could Raise £ 1 Million To Support Coronavirus Fight, Study Finds GrandNational.org.uk.
Virtual Grand National Bets Could Raise £ 1 Million To Support Coronavirus Fight
BGC Managing Director Michael Dugher said: “With the United Kingdom, rightly and rightly, locked out, the Grand National unfortunately cannot take place; the Virtual Grand National will be the closest we can get to creating one of those moments when we can all come together to celebrate, not only for the biggest sporting events in the world, but for NHS heroes working on the front lines to keep us safe. .
“I am delighted that our members have mobilized in this way to support the national effort to fight COVID-19 by contributing all of their race profits to NHS Charities Together. Millions of us love to float on the Grand National. For many, this is the only time of year when they place a bet. This year, the big winner will be our NHS.
Stakes will be limited to £ 10 per horse per person or £ 10 per route per horse and anyone who has placed winning bets will be paid.
The tote will also provide a pool on the simulated run with all the profits going to charity too.
Do some people not already know the result if it is pre-recorded?
The answer is simple: a small number of people working behind the scenes of the race know the result.
These persons are subject to strict confidentiality obligations and no authorized betting operator is a party to the information in accordance with strict regulations on games of chance.
Bookmakers Will Take Bets On Virtual Grand National And Profits Will Go To NHS Charities
THE CHAMPIONS RACE PUTTING THE CHANCES
To win the ITV Race of Champions (Match Bet)
Red rum – 1/2
Tiger roll – 6/4
Will there be only one race?
Although the Virtual Grand National is the main attraction, fans can also watch a simulation of Tiger Roll up against Red Rum.
The special will pit Red Rum and Tiger Roll in the Race of Champions alongside 38 other champions who will race on the Aintree jumps and the famous course.
Red Rum won the Grand National three times in 1973, 1974 and 1977 while Tiger Roll was looking to win the race for the third consecutive year this weekend.
Fans can also watch a simulation of Tiger Roll up against Red Rum in the Champions Race
The Virtual Grand National, produced by Carm Productions in partnership with Inspired Entertainment, will be presented on ITV on Saturday April 4 at 5:00 p.m. with the race at 5:15 p.m.