4.8 million people tuned in to watch 18-1 shot Potters Corner win the televised Virtual 2020 Grand National after the big race was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With all horse racing in Great Britain suspended indefinitely, a computer-simulated race was run with the forty runners most likely to line up at Aintree. 5-1 favourite Tiger Roll was aiming for an unprecedented third consecutive win in the world-famous race before it was called off on 16 March. In the simulation, it came 4th behind the Welsh Grand National winner, Walk In The Mill (16-1) and Any Second Now (10-1) in second and third respectively.

Despite the Aintree meet being unable to officially run, bookmakers offered odds and a maximum bet of £10 could be placed, with an estimated £2.6 million in profits going to NHS Charities Together.

The animated version used the latest CGI technology and algorithms and had similiar drama associated with the live race. In the simulation with long-time leader Aso fell in the closing stages.

A virtual contest has been held since 2017 and has a good record of forecasting the actual outcome. In its maiden race, Cause of Causes won the Virtual Grand National and came a close second in the real race hours later. In 2018 Tiger Roll won both the virtual and real race in almost identical circumstances. In 2019 the computer picked three of the top five finishers.

Who is Potters Corner?

The welsh-trained 10-year-old  orse is owned by the All Star Sports syndicate which includes rugby player Jonathan Davies. After winning Wales’ Grand National in December 2019, Potters Corner and 17-year old jockey Jack Tudor were considered real contenders for the Aintree meet. The trainers and Jockey have a firm eye on the 2021 Grand National.

2020 Grand National final standings

1 Potters Corner 18-1

2 Walk In The Mill 16-1

3 Any Second Now 10-1

4 Tiger Roll 5-1

5 Burrows Saint 12-1

6 Pleasant Company 7 Ballyoptic 8 Kimberlite Candy 9 Top Ville Ben 10 Vintage Clouds

11 Peregrine Run 12 The Storyteller 13 Talkischeap 14 Dounikos 15 Kildisart 16 Alpha Des Obeaux 17 Beware The Bear 18 Anibale Fly 19 Death Duty

Aso – fell, fence 29; Magic Of Light – fell, fence 27, Yala Enki – unseated rider, fence 27; Jury Duty – refused, fence 27

Bristol De Mai- fell, fence 26; Sub Lieutenant- refused, fence 26; Ramses de Teillee – fell, fence 20

Acapella Bourgeois – fell, fence 19; Definitly Red – refused, fence 17; Saint Xavier – unseated rider, fence 15; Double Shuffle – unseated rider, fence 14; Elegant Escape – refused, fence 14; Total Recall – fell, fence 14

Crievehill – fell, fence 11; Lake View Lad – fell, fence 11; Ok Corral – refused, fence 10; Jett – refused, fence 10

Warriors Tale – refused, fence 3; Shattered Love – fell, fence 3; Valtor – unseated rider, fence 3; Tout Est Permis – fell, fence 1

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