Horse Racing – 2020 Virtual Grand National Tips and Betting Preview

So, this is where we’ve ended, trying to pick the winner of a virtual horse race.  However this is the Grand National, the world’s greatest steeplechase and the longest horse race in Britain at just over 4 miles 2 furlongs.


There have been 3 previous runnings of the virtual National and there are a few key trends to focus on.  All 3 winners had won their most recent start, whilst that applies to 4 of other 6 horses finishing in the top 3.  Interestingly, the 2 non qualifiers had failed to finish on their previous start but did win on their last completed run.

A couple of other things to look out for; a RPR higher than their official rating on the last run over fences, previous big field form and a win over at least 3 miles but, even more telling, a win on their longest completed run (excluding past performances in this race).


Tiger Roll is the favourite having won this real National for the last 2 years.  He saddles a monster weight of 11st10 here and comes here off the back of a defeat.  He’ll be difficult to keep out of the frame but it would be a remarkable weight carrying performance to come home in front here.  At 5/1, he is readily passed over.

Main Bet

Any Second Now is the current second favourite and he has major claims here.  His longest completed run was in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham 12 months ago where he came home in front over 3 miles 2 furlongs when staying on stoutly.  Since then, he’s been campaigned at shorter distances, recording 3 of his top 4 career RPRs in 3 of his last 4 runs. The only ‘failure’ was when unseating in the Paddy Power over Christmas when in the process of running a big race.  He won a Grade 3 chase last time out and provided he stays, which is likely, he’ll be bang there. He has a nice racing weight of 10st6 and comes from Ireland, the same as the 3 winners of this.


Rachael Blackmore takes the ride on Burrows Saint and having won the Irish National last term, is hard to ignore but he’s a 7 year old and that’s at least a year too young to be involved in the shake up.  Definitly Red is well handicapped but is an unlikely stayer whilst Magic Of Light shocked everyone last year finishing 2nd in the real thing but will struggle to repeat that effort here.

Rest of our Bets

The Becher Chase here in November is a trial not to be ignored and is the source of our 2nd bet.  Kimberlite Candy finished 2nd that day and has since gone on to win the Warwick Classic but he played second fiddle to Walk In The Mill here at Aintree and may have to settle for another supporting role.  The winner is taken to go well again here, and he certainly likes Aintree.  In fact, he’s only been beyond 3 miles 1 furlongs 3 times, all here, winning back to back Becher Chases & a 4th place finish in the real National here 12 months ago.  Surely his love of these fences will see him in the final shake up again.

Potters Corner is our 3rd selection.  There are no better stayers in this field as his record of winning all 3 of his longest completed starts shows; that includes last year’s Midlands National and this year’s Welsh National.  He has, however, fallen twice over marathon distances so we’re taking a bit of a chance. If he stays on his feet, we know he’ll stay & stamina is the main attribute needed to land this iconic race.

I struggled to leave Anibale Fly out of calculations, something I can say about Ballyoptic too but our final selection is Acapella Bourgeois.  He was 3rd in last year’s Irish National behind Burrows Saint, the current 3rd favourite for this, yet he’s 10lbs better off for a 7 length beating.  He won the Bobbyjo last time out, giving a 15 length beating to 163-rated Bellshill off level weights (our horse is rated 152 here) with Alpha Des Obeaux 3rd who is now 7lbs worse off yet shorter in the betting.  33/1 is a crazy price for a horse in form.


PLACED – Back Any Second Now (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 11.00 Paddy Power BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)

PLACED – Back Walk In The Mill (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 17.00 Paddy Power BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)

WON – Back Potters Corner (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 19.00 Paddy Power BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)

Back Acapella Bourgeois (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 34.00 Paddy Power BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)



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