After the Grand National 2020 was cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic, the Virtual Grand National has risen in popularity. ITV have announced that they'll screen the Virtual Grand National this year for the sixth straingh year, trying to anticipate the outcome of the real race at the Aintree Festival. Here's all you need to know about the Virtual Grand National 2023 betting!
What Is the Virtual Grand National?
The Virtual Grand National is a computer simulated running of the big race, which provides a winner, finishers, fallers and unseated riders, just like the real race.
The game is developed by virtual sports betting provider Inspired Entertainment, a company specialised in games and content for the gambling industry. The simulation uses algorithms and CGI animation to run the race.
Due to real-life cancellations due to COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 renewal was only run virtually.
In 2023, of course, we will have both the Virtual Grand National and real edition of the Aintree showpiece.
Can I bet on the Virtual Grand National 2023?
In 2020 online bookmakers set a £10 maximum bet and the the funds were sent to NHS Charities Together, the umbrella organisation that represents more than 140 approved NHS charities. Anyway, this year everything will be different.
The top online betting sites will take bets on the Virtual Grand National:
All online bookmakers have also confirmed that bets and winnings on this year's Virtual Grand National will not be capped.
It could be expected that in the coming days we see Virtual Grand National related betting markets popping up across betting sites, and they will surely accept also EW bets.
Of course, there will not be any Grand National Non Runner No Bet promotion for the virtual race. All the Grand National Runners will take part into the most famous steeplechase race in the world over the big aintree fences.
Plus, many bookies are going further and featuring their own Virtual Grand National, using existing graphics and Virtual databases of runners to stream an alternative Virtual Grand National of their own.
What betting markets are available on the Virtual Grand National?
You will be able to bet on the outright winner and place each-way bets on the Virtual Grand National.
Hence, the betting odds for the real-life race are a lot more diverse, as the best bookies will feature each-way Grand National betting, outright bets, and will also offering odds on forecast, tricast, system bets and many other types of wager on the signature race of jumps racing.
When is the 2023 Virtual Grand National?
For the seventh consecutive year, Inspired Entertainment is producing the four mile Virtual Grand National race to predict the outcome of the 2023 Grand National.
ITV 4 will be televising the 2023 Virtual Grand National on Friday 14th April 2023 at 9:15pm GMT, just one day before the real race. The VGN will be screened again on Saturday at 1pm GMT.
You can also watch online via ITV Hub.
Click here for more details on how to watch the Virtual Grand National.
There will also be a Virtual Grand National race of champions, featuring previous winners such as the legendary Red Rum and Tiger Roll and the best National Hunt horses which should also provide some good entertainment.
How the Virtual Grand National WorksMore or less, it works like the real big race at the Aintree Festival:
- 40 runners will line up for the virtual contest
- CGI technology and algorithms will simulate the race
- ITV will stream the 2023 Virtual Grand National on Friday 14th April at 21:15 BST. Re-runs of the VGN event will take place on Saturday on Saturday April 15th before the Grand National 2023 race on ITV.
- Commentary of the virtual action will be provided by Stewart Machin
Will bookmakers pay out winning bets on the Virtual Grand National?
In 2020 all profits (Bets taken - winning bets) were donated to charity. Of course, anyone placing winning bets was regularly paid but bookmakers did not want to be seen to profit at such a sensitive time.
This year, there should be no restrictions on Virtual Grand National bets, neither on maximum wagers and maximum winnings.
Can I get a free bet on the Virtual Grand National 2023?
With all physical betting shops not accepting bets on the VGN, punters keen for a bet on the Virtual Grand National 2023 will need to exclusively rely upon online betting sites. Anyway, several online bookmakers will remove their welcome offer and free bets for the Virtual Grand National.
If you fancy getting a free bet ahead of the big race you can take a look at our hand-picked list of the best free bets.
We strongly remember to read the terms and conditions of these betting offers, and ongoing general ones such as Paddy’s Rewards Club and other similar loyalty bonuses, to see if they apply to virtual horse racing and can be used to bet on Virtual Grand National races.
What are the 2023 Virtual Grand National Runners and Jockeys?
The final field has been confirmed on Thursday. The race will feature the 40 runners and riderss that will line up for the real Grand National, including the reigning champion Noble Yeats, Corach Rambler, Delta Work, Mr Incredible, Any Second Now, Gaillard Du Mesnil, Our Power, Le Milos and Galvin. Unfortunately, Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Hewick will miss this year's renewal having suffered a heavy fall at the recent Cheltenham Festival.
Click below to find the 2023 Virtual Grand National Odds.
Is The Virtual Grand National A Pre-Recorded Race?
The Virtual Grand National 2023 will be pre-recorded the day before the race and only a small number of people will know the outcome - all of who will be subject to strict confidentiality obligations.
How accurate is the Virtual Grand National algorithm?
Simulating how such a complex race is run is no easy task, but special algorithms and random number generator take into account hundreds of variables and real sport factors (past form, ground conditions, weather conditions, etc..), trying to simulate almost identical circumstances of the real-life Grand National.
Anyway, the virtual winner usually performs very well in the real-life race.
In 2017, the algorithm came up with six of the top-10 finishers and the runner-up in the real race won The Virtual Grand National. In 2018, the simulated race selected six of only 12 finishers and the winner. The computer chose three of the top five finishers, including Tiger Roll, in 2019.
3D Graphic & HD Quality
As to graphic rendering, the 40 horses contesting the real-life race are digitally created and given their allotted weights from the handicap.
This makes for an increased amount of fun when betting on the Grand National.
Who won last year's Virtual Grand National?
Snow Leopardess was crowned champion in the Virtual Grand National 2022 last night. This was not reflected in the actual race itself (50/1 outsider Noble Yeats won the real race), but the computer got 2nd and 3rd places spot on with Any Second Now and Delta Work respectively.
The Virtual Race of Champions preceded the main event, televised on ITV, in which triple National winner Red Rum and double victor Tiger Roll were the best horses.
Virtual Grand National Past Winners
2022 - Snow Leopardess
2021 - Cloth Cap
2020 - Potters Corner (the Grand National 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19)
2019 – Rathvinden (went on to be third in the real Grand National race)
2018 – Tiger Roll (went on to win the real Grand National race)
2017 – Cause Of Causes won the first Virtual Grand National winner ever (went on to be second in the real Grand National race)
Do horses fall in the Virtual Grand National?
They do, but one of the great advantages of the Virtual Grand National is that neither horse nor jockey gets hurt if they do take a tumble. Horses can also refuse, be brought down, unseat their rider or be pulled up just like in the real event.
Other Virtual Horse Racing
Following the success of the Virtual Grand National, Inspired have also created a computer simulation for the Kentucky Derby, US's most famous horse race. The name of this virtual race is "Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown". This is a contest between the 13 horses in history who have won the triple crown.