Why Virtual Grand National betting could raise £1million for the NHS

Bets on the 2020 Virtual Grand National could raise around £1 million for an NHS charity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Research suggests punters will fund the sum for the NHS Charities Group, by placing wagers of up to £10 each on Saturday's race.

It has been run since 2017, in addition to the £1 million Randox Health Grand National, which has been cancelled in response to the coronavirus crisis.

GrandNational.org.uk estimate turnover on Saturday's computerised contest will be a fraction of the £300 million usually invested on thee Aintree showpiece.

However, it is still expected to be a sizeable amount.

Bookmakers said earlier this week race profits would go to the NHS, which faces an unprecedented level of demand for its services at present.

A spokesman for GrandNational.org.uk said: "This is an excellent initiative and full credit must go to all parties for working together so quickly to replicate the race in a move that not only provides the nation with some much-needed sporting entertainment, but most importantly of all will raise vital funds for the fight against Covid-19.

"Although odds are yet to be published, the public's champion Tiger Roll looks certain to go off as the favourite.

"A third victory in 2020's 'running' of the race won't get him into the history books the same way as Red Rum, but a win for the nation's favourite horse will still be cheered loudly in living rooms up and down the country.”

The Virtual Grand National betting is expected to be very similar to the ante-post book for the real big race, that all bookmakers were showing up until it was cancelled.

Had it been run, it was predicted dual winner Tiger Roll's odds would have been in single figures – just like in 2019 when punters cheered home the 4/1 favourite.

He was the shortest-priced Grand National winner since Poethlyn (11/4) in 1919.

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