Virtual Grand National to Go Ahead with Profits Going to the NHS
by Glenn Baird - March 31, 2020
For just about everyone in the UK, horseracing fan or not, the Grand National is, as the name suggests a national event.
Since 1839 the Grand National has been cancelled on 7 occasions, 2 during the First World War and 5 During the Second World War. In 1993 the race was made void but still, in theory, went ahead. That makes this year’s race the first in over 180 to have been cancelled for reasons not relating to a world war.
If anyone has started to think that the term “unprecedented” has been overused in the last few weeks then think again. This has never happened before and hopefully will never happen again.
To make up for this lull in the sporting calendar and to bring and bring some much needed cheer back into lives of the British public a virtual Grand National will take place instead.
The event has been organised by the ITV, who will screen the event live this Saturday on ITV 1 at 5.15pm, the same time as the real race would have started.
Rob McLoughlin, executive producer, said: “We use the latest CGI technology and algorithms and were ready to go ahead as a forerunner to the big race, but now we want to cheer the nation up and ask the computer if history could have been made.”
Bookmakers have yet to officially announce that punters will be able to bet on the race but they have stipulated that any profits made will be going straight to the NHS.
According to a report in the Daily Mail discussions are currently ongoing between UK bookmakers and the Betting & Gaming Council.
If an agreement is reached then anyone who bets and wins on the race will be paid, but the bookies, who cannot be seen to be profiting from the crisis will take any profits they make and pass them onto the National Health Service as a show of support to the front line workers who are out there every day battling the virus.
It is understood that all bookmakers will offer the same odds and a maximum stake of £10 will be applied.
The 40 virtual runners and jockeys should be published within the next day, with Tiger Roll, the horse looking to obtain an unprecedented 3 Grand Nationals in a row likely to be added to the roster.
The outcome of the race will be determined by algorithms that tap into various elements that determine form and the race will be shown using the latest GCI technology.