The Virtual Grand National Is Today With Profits Going To NHS
This year's Grand National may have been cancelled due to the coronavirus, but today's virtual version of the race will give you a chance to experience some of the usual thrills.
Hell, there's nothing stopping you getting dressed up all smart, necking a bucket-load of booze and burning £100 in your living room - and then it will be pretty much exactly the same.
The Virtual Aintree Grand National has actually been running for the past three years, but the fact the non-virtual version is off this year means it is naturally getting a lot more attention.
The CGI race - run by most leading UK bookmakers - simulates the course at Aintree, using algorithms to factor in weather conditions, recent form, form on the track, weight, age and more. This data means you can decide which horse to back just as you normally would. Indeed, the virtual winner of the past three races has finished in the top three in the actual race in each respective year.
For regular betters, the event will come as a blessed relief, with major sporting events almost entirely eradicated at present. People who don't normally gamble might want to get involved too, as all profits from the event will go towards helping the NHS fight Covid-19.
Betting and Gaming Council Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: "With the UK understandably and rightly in lockdown, unfortunately the Grand National can't take place; however the virtual Grand National will be the closest we can get to creating one of those moments when we can all come together in celebration, not just for the world's greatest sporting events, but for the NHS heroes working on the front line to keep us all safe.
"I am delighted that our members have stepped up in this way to support the national effort to combat Covid-19 by contributing all of their race profits to NHS Charities Together.
"Millions of us love a flutter on the Grand National. For many, it's the only time of the year they place a bet. This year, the big winner will be our NHS."
Some behind the scenes shots of The Virtual Grand National!
Tune in - 5pm, Saturday April 4th, @itv #VGN20 #VirtualGrandNational pic.twitter.com/iTddrPiWXT
- The Virtual Grand National 2020 (@TheVirtualGN) April 3, 2020
The race will be broadcast on ITV at 5pm and punters will be able to bet up to £10 win per horse, or £10 each way.
Featured Image Credit: PA