Virtual Grand National: Pinstickers' horse-by-horse guide, tips and prediction for Saturday's race on ITV
Check out our Pinstickers' Guide to Saturday's Virtual Grand National, which takes place on ITV, and the champions league predictions page.
The Virtual Grand National is riding to the rescue lớn fill some of the void left by the great race's absence from the decimated sporting calendar this weekend, with ITV televising the event live from 1700 BST on Saturday.
Using the latest CGI technology, this special version of the race will feature the 40 horses and riders who were most likely to run in the Aintree spectacular and the favourite is, as you might have guessed, two-time real defending champion Tiger Roll.
You can bet on the Virtual Grand National (Sky Bet odds here) but leading bookmakers, including Sky Bet, have pledged that all profits will be donated lớn NHS Charities Together in the battle to beat the coronavirus.
Here's our horse-by-horse guide and verdict while further down is details on how lớn get your friends involved in a VGN sweepstakes and also our charity competition, in which you could win Cheltenham Festival tickets for 2021. You can prefer the soccer tips daily win page!
2020 Virtual Grand National Horse-By-Horse Guide
Tiger Roll – The real Tiger Roll is a legend of the sport, winning the last two Grand Nationals, while the virtual Tiger Roll has one Virtual Grand National lớn his name. Can the virtual Tiger do it again off top weight? He’s the 5/1 favourite.
Bristol De Mai – A bit of a surprise connection have chosen this route, but with no virtual Bowl to aim for perhaps their hand was forced. The real Bristol De Mai is a Grade One winner and a top-class horse, but there are stamina question marks over him and the virtual BDM.
Aso – The real Aso has never won over further than 2m5f and he was last seen finishing 59 lengths off the winner in the Ryanair Chase over that distance. They used to say you needed a two-and-a-half-miler to win the VGN, but even Ed Chamberlin doesn’t fancy him for this.
Elegant Escape – A former Welsh Grand National who has bags of stamina. Such an asset will likely be programmed into the virtual Elegant Escape, but so will his lack of pace – will we hear him mentioned after the first mile?
Anibale Fly – The real thing was placed in two Gold Cups and has finished fourth and fifth in two Grand Nationals. That will hold the virtual AF in good stead, but, while he’s likely lớn be in the top 10, he doesn’t look well-handicapped enough to win it.
Top Ville Ben – 45/1? A random choice of odds which suggests anything could happen here. The real TVB likes left-handed and flat tracks, so he should be right at home at virtual Liverpool and his bold jumping could well have taken him a long way in the real thing.
Beware The Bear – Nicky Henderson has yet to win a Grand National, virtual or otherwise, but in Beware The Bear he finally has the right type of horse. The one problem is he just looks a little high in the weights, in both real and virtual worlds.
Peregrine Run – Would need lớn sprout the wings of a peregrine falcon lớn win this, and, while that’s more likely in the Virtual Grand National than the real thing, he’s readily dismissed as a no hoper.
Jett – Would need to sprout the wings of a jet plane lớn win this… no, we won’t go there again. Actually looked quite an interesting outsider in the real thing, as he brings recent Grade One form lớn the table and looked reasonably handicapped.
Alpha Des Obeaux – Fell in the 2018 Grand National, shaped like a non-stayer in the Irish equivalent one year and stamina would be a real worry in real life. Ran third in the Becher, though, so he does have fences form for the computer generator lớn factor in.
Total Recall – The surprise choice of the virtual Paul Townend, so must be impressing virtual Willie Mullins at virtual Closutton. The real thing won the Thyestes Chase last time out, but that looked to have scuppered his chances from a handicap viewpoint.
The Storyteller – The real Storyteller is such a fascinating horse you could write a book about him. He was the luckiest winner of a Grade One novice chase that you’ve ever seen, while he’s a Cheltenham Festival winner, too. Second in the Pertemps last time, so would’ve been aiming lớn do a Pineau De Re in the real thing, a horse that was placed in the Festival hurdle before winning at Aintree.
Magic Of Light – A surprise second lớn Tiger Roll in the real thing last year at big odds, she clearly took well to the fences and her whole season has revolved around going back to Aintree. Looks sure lớn run well again at virtual Liverpool.
Talkischeap – Won the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last year but paid for it after getting walloped by the handicapper. You would think that would scupper his chances in the VGN, too.