How does the Virtual Grand National work? How accurate has it been in the past?

How does the Virtual Grand National work? How accurate has it been in the past?

The 2020 running of the Virtual Grand National is set to be the biggest yet…

Due to the cancellation of this year’s renewal of the Grand National, we will, at least, be treated to the virtual Grand National as it will be broadcasted live on ITV at 5pm on Saturday.

Tiger Roll may not be able to complete a historic hat-trick of Grand National’s but he can still win the virtual edition. The interest is rising throughout the week with the lack of sport on at the moment.

If you aren’t familiar with the Virtual Grand National and are wondering how it actually works as well as how the winner is decided, then let us explain.

How does the Virtual Grand National work?

The Virtual Grand National is simply a computer simulation of the real Grand National, apart from this year we won’t have the real race to compare it to.

Makers Inspired Entertainment use computer-generated imagery (CGI), to accurately recreate the Grand National race. No stone is left unturned with the famous Becher’s Book jump ever present.

The exact algorithm of the virtual race has not been disclosed, but they use all the information they have available on all of the 40 runners to create their simulation.

The simulation has been pre-recorded for ITV’s broadcast on Saturday, so a select few will already know the result.

This is the fourth year that the virtual Grand National has been run and it is sure to be the most popular yet, and probably ever.

How accurate has the virtual Grand National been in the past?

It has proven to be remarkably accurate in predicting the result of the race.

Its first simulation aired in 2017, where Cause of Causes won the first ever running of the Virtual Grand national. The Cheltenham hero ended up finishing second in in the real race.

The accuracy didn’t stop there either, six of the first 10 home in the virtual race also managed to secure top 10 finishes in the real race.

The 2018 simulation went one step better and predicted the winner. It correctly predicted 10/1 shot Tiger Roll to land the most famous horserace in the world and he duly obliged. The simulation also correctly called three of the first five finishers too. Not bad.

Last year’s Virtual Grand National couldn’t quite match the dizzy heights of the year before but it still did a great job. The virtual winner, Rathvinden came third in the real content, some place money for any who followed its prediction.

Clearly, it has proven very reliable since its inception but sadly, we won’t be able to see how it does this year. You can bet on it for the first time though, with several UK bookmakers announcing that their profits from the race would be donated to NHS Charities Together.

The Virtual Grand National is being televised to provide a bit of light relief for racing fans during testing times. If you're just watching the race for fun like most, you could put together a sweepstake with your mates using our sweepstake kit.