Virtual Grand National Clocks Up Millions

If you were to glance sideways you would have certainly done a double-take as the Virtual Grand National took place on Saturday afternoon.

The ‘race’ was shown at the same time as the real one would have taken place at Aintree and was broadcast on ITV across Britain and Northern Ireland.

Virgin Media who would normally carry ITV’s racing programmes in Ireland chose not to on this occasion but may have missed a trick as the numbers that tuned in to ITV were a peak of 4.8 million and an average of 4.3 million.

In comparison to the real thing, they were about half of the number that tuned in to watch Tiger Roll win the 2019 race but over three times the number that saw Al Boum Photo record back to back Cheltenham Gold Cup wins last month and over twice the number that watched the 2019 Epsom Derby.

The race was run based on data that was compiled from each horses actual performances, together obviously with a bit of secret sauce in terms of algorithms.

The race was won by this year’s actual Welsh National winner Potters Corner at odds of 18/1 with Tiger Roll coming in fourth having led close to the finish.

Bookmakers did take bets on the race, to a maximum stake of £10 but donated all of the profits, estimated to be in the region of £10 million, to front line workers in the National Health Service.

There were critics who highlighted that the dangers of compulsive gambling were being ignored but at least the stakes were kept to a minimum, the profits went to a good cause and there was no danger to life or limb of any of the jockeys or the horses.

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Image Credit: The Racing Post

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