[Free Tips For Saturday] Virtual Grand National
The 2020 Grand National may have been lost to the Coronavirus, but the 2020 Virtual Grand National will be run in its place on ITV, Saturday 4 April, 5.15pm. Bets per person per horse are limited to £10 win or £10 each-way, and bookmakers have agreed to donate all profits to NHS charities. That means even if you don’t win on the race, your losses will be helping in the fight to rid the world of Covid-19.
Check our trends, analysis, and best bets for the 2020 Virtual Grand National.
Virtual Grand National Analysis
17:15 on 4th April
10-Year- Grand National Trends
The last 10 Grand National winners have been rated as low as 137 but, since the race was reduced in length five years ago, winners have been rated between 148 and 160. Last year’s winner Tiger Roll was the only winning favourite in the last decade, though four other winners were returned at 10/1 (two) and 14/1 (two). The other winners were returned at 25/1 (two), 33/1 (two), and 66/1.
2020 Virtual Grand National Runner-To-Runner Guide
1 TIGER ROLL 11-10 Davy Russell
Tiger Roll looks sure to start favourite in his bid win his third successive Grand National, but the handicapper has made his task harder by raising him 11lb in the handicap since last year. He only has 5lb more to carry, but he’s now conceding weight to lots of good horses. Looks likely to go close all the same.
2 BRISTOL DE MAI 11-8 Daryl Jacob
Good enough to win two Betfair Chases and finish third in the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but his ideal conditions are 3 miles in the mud and, though he could go well for a long way, he may run out of stamina in the closing stages.
3 ASO 11-2 Charlie Deutsch
Best form is over 2 miles 5 furlongs and, though his trainer Venetia Williams has produced a 100/1 shock winner of the Grand National, Aso is unlikely to be another.
4 ELEGANT ESCAPE 11-2 Jonjo O’Neill Jnr
Winner of the 2018 Welsh National and plenty of horses that have run well in that race have later run well in the Grand National. Looks sure to be suited by this test of stamina with less weight on his back than he’s normally burdened with. The negative is he’s not quite looked at his best on his last three runs.
5 ANIBALE FLY 11-2 Barry Geraghty
Fourth and fifth in the last two editions of the Grand National after finishing third and second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and connections missed this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup to keep him fresh for this. Finished last on his three chase starts this season but caught the eye when finishing third in a handicap hurdle after the weights had been announced. He’s also 13lb better off with Tiger Roll for 16½ lengths last year and that gives him the right to go very close.
6 TOP VILLE BEN 11-2 Tom Dowson
Ran well to be second in a Grade 1 novice chase on the Mildmay Course last season and was an impressive winner of a handicap at Wetherby this season off 154. However, a mark of 162 looks tough to overcome in this company unless he thrives for the new challenge.
7 BEWARE THE BEAR 11-0 Jerry McGrath
Has run some great races off big weights in the last two seasons, including a win at the Cheltenham Festival and two fourth places in the Ladbrokes Trophy. But he’s flopped in the Bet365 Gold Cup and the Scottish National and may just not be suited to how these staying handicaps are run.
8 PEREGRINE RUN 10-13 Kevin Sexton
Talented Irish runner that has won plenty of races between 2 miles 4 furlongs and 2 miles 7 furlongs. Stamina an unknown, but a potential danger if he stays this distance.
9 JETT 10-13 Sam Waley-Cohen
Faced some tough tasks off level-weights or giving weight to classy horses since giving Alpha Des Obeaux 7lb and a beating earlier this season. Could take to this task and gets plenty of weight from the top-class horses this time.
10 ALPHA DES OBEAUX 10-13 Richard Johnson
Fell at the Chair in the 2018 Grand National but showed he can jump these fences when third in the Becher Chase in off top-weight in December. Trainer Gordon Elliott considers him his second-best chance for owner Gigginstown Stud, who have won three of the last four Grand Nationals.
11 TOTAL RECALL 10-13 Paul Townend
Back to form for trainer Willie Mullins last time but is 10lb higher here and 2lb higher than when hitting nearly every fence in the 2018 Grand National.
12 THE STORYTELLER 10-12 Keith Donoghue
Ran a cracking race to be second in a handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but is 9lb higher back over fences. Not had many chances in handicap chases though and could go well if staying this extended trip at the first attempt.
13 MAGIC OF LIGHT 10-12 Robbie Power
Beaten just under three lengths by Tiger Roll last year and she’s 5lb better off this year. Looked good in winning two 3-mile races in her build up to this year’s renewal and could be best forgiven a poor run over hurdles last time in her bid to go one better.
14 TALKISCHEAP 10-11 Tommy Cannon
Showed that stamina was his best weapon when winning the 2019 Bet365 Gold Cup. Not shown much in two runs off a much higher mark this year but, interestingly, he carries 10-11 in this as he did when enjoying his finest moment at Sandown.
15 YALA ENKI 10-11 Bryony Frost
Was well-beaten in a Grade 1 novice chase by Ballyoptic at Aintree a few seasons ago and, though he has won some good handicaps since, there are horses of greater ability on similar weights.
16 BALLYOPTIC 10-11 Sam Twiston-Davies
His trainer has always considered him a Grand National Horse and he was going okay when falling four out last year. Has jumped much better this season and could go well after winning at Ascot last time.
17 BURROWS SAINT 10-10 Rachael Blackmore
Won last season’s Irish Grand National and won a hurdles race in December. Looks to have a good chance on those runs but needs to overcome a longer than average absence. Rachael Blackmore rides in the Virtual race but may well have been the choice of Townend if this was the real thing.
18 DEFINITELY RED 10-10 Brian Hughes
Gets in on a nice weight for a horse of his class and went well in the Becher Chase in December, but there’s still a doubt about him having the required stamina.
19 SUB LIEUTENANT 10-9 JJ Slevin
Best form has come over shorter and would be a shock winner.
20 OK CORRAL 10-9 Derek O’Connor
Possibly at his best bossing low-quality horses and doubtful stayer having been pulled-up in the 2019 National Hunt Chase.
21 TOUT EST PERMIS 10-9 Shaun Flanagan
Good third at the Cheltenham Festival over hurdles but returns to fences off a much higher mark.
22 VINTAGE CLOUDS 10-8 Danny Cook
Has long been thought of as a Grand National horse but hasn’t looked to enjoy these fences in two previous attempts over them.
23 CRIEVEHILL 10-8 Tom Bellamy
Hard to see this lad being classy enough to win what looks a strong Grand National on paper.
24 LAKE VIEW LAD 10-8 Henry Brooke
Has 7lb less on his back than last year but struggled to go the pace before being pulled up and would prefer softer ground.
25 JURY DUTY 10-8 Mark Enright
Sent off at just 10/1 last year when unseating but hasn’t shown much since. Interesting to see if he can improve on last year’s performance having been aimed at the race all season.
26 PLEASANT COMPANY 10-7 David Mullins
Just a neck second in the 2018 Grand National and is 15lb better off with Tiger Roll this year. Not so good since and it’s asking a lot of him to win this at the age of 12.
27 ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS 10-6 Danny Mullins
Handicapped to go well after his win last time, but possibly the only one that handled the heavy ground that day. More worrying is the fact he’s run best in small fields.
28 SHATTERED LOVE 10-6 Lisa O’Neill
Former Cheltenham Festival winner that gets in off a nice low weight, but she’s generally proved best at around 2½ miles.
29 ANY SECOND NOW 10-6 Mark Walsh
Won a hurdle race last time that his trainer Ted Walsh (dad of Ruby Walsh) has won with his other big Grand National runners. The form of his Cheltenham Festival win last season has also worked out well and he could go well of a low weight.
30 POTTERS CORNER 10-6 Jack Tudor
Welsh Grand National winner who should stay the trip but will find this race being run much quicker than a heavy ground race at Chepstow.
31 DOUNIKOS 10-5 Luke Dempsey
Seemed to lack stamina in last year’s Grand National and Irish Grand National. Tough ask.
32 KILDISART 10-5 Nico De Boinville
Back to form when running a cracker at the Cheltenham Festival and has gone well at Aintree in the past. Would have a squeak if staying the trip.
33 DEATH DUTY 10-5 Gavin Brouder
Former high-class chaser who has not looked anywhere near as good since returning from injury. Needs a light weight over a marathon trip to be his optimum conditions, and that still may not be good enough.
34 RAMSES DE TEILLE 10-5 Tom Scudamore
Pulled up last year and could face a similar fate after running poorly at the Cheltenham Festival.
35 VALTOR 10-4 James Bowen
Beaten 70 lengths last year but, having been bought as a Grand National horse, he could go better this year with 16lb less to carry.
36 SANT XAVIER 10-4 David Maxwell
Former Grade 3 winning chaser in France but finished miles behind Definitely Red last time.
37 WARRIORS TALE 10-4 Harry Cobden
Winner over National fences but has lacked stamina in the past.
38 DOUBLE SHUFFLE 10-4 Jonathan Burke
Pulled up in the 2017 Grand National and a similar fate may await.
39 KIMBERLITE CANDY 10-4 Richie McLernon
Looking to follow in the footsteps of the 2017 Grand National winner who was also placed in the Becher Chase and won the Classic Chase at Warwick before winning this. Decent chance if he has the pace to get a good early position and avoid trouble.
40 WALK IN THE MILL 10-4 James Best
Has a great record over the National fences having won the last two Becher Chases and finished fourth in last year’s National. Also 4lb better off with Kimberlite Candy, despite beating that horse in this season’s Becher Chase.