Coronavirus was the big winner in 2020 with the Randox Health Grand National being completely cancelled along with the rest of the three-day meeting. This was a massive blow not just to Aintree racecourse but also to the betting industry, however punters were treated to a Virtual Grand National which was aired at the same time as the ‘real’ race was to be run and from which all bookmaker profits were given to NHS Charities Together.
Tiger Roll had won the Grand National in 2018 and 2019, however the pandemic scuppered his chances of managing something that no other horse had ever achieved, namely winning the race three years on the bounce. This would have been a huge achievement, however the Gordon Elliott runner was denied the chance to make history and all eyes were on the virtual race to see if the ‘virtual’ Tiger Roll could emulate the previous success of his real self.
In the end it was Potters Corner who romped home to victory in the Virtual Grand National, the 18/1 shot beating second-placed Walk In The Mill (16/1) and third-placed Any Second Now (10/1).
Potters Corner triumphed in the Welsh Grand National towards the end of 2019 and he was expected to give a good performance in the real Grand National had it been run on April 4th. This was the fourth time that a virtual Grand National has been run and on previous occasions it has been impressively accurate when compared with the real race.
The forty runners which would have most likely taken to the field in the real race were involved in the computer-simulated race using the latest CGI technology and algorithms. The virtual version of the Grand National contained much of the drama and excitement of the real race and it followed on from a virtual Race of Champions in which former winners of the Grand National competed against each other. This race was won by none other than the infamous Red Rum, both races being televised on ITV.
1: Potters Corner
2: Walk In The Mill
3: Any Second Now
4: Tiger Roll
5: Burrows Saint
6: Pleasant Company
8: Kimberlite Candy
9: Top Ville Ben
10: Vintage Clouds