*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change
Ah, the Virtual Grand National. A chance for the pixelated version of our heroes to shine over the Aintree fences. The digital runners may just be computer simulations but they’ve proven handy pointers for the actual thing in recent years.
2019 winner Rathvinden went on to finish third at Aintree, Tiger Roll did the double in 2018 while 2017 saw Cause of Causes triumph in the digital world but place second behind One For Arthur on the track.
Paddy Power pundit Mick Fitzgerald certainly likes CLOTH CAP‘s chances at Aintree because the “drying ground is a plus for his prospects”.
The boffins at Timeform reckon CLOTH CAP will justify his favouritism and that “often it pays to keep things simple”.
ANY SECOND NOW trained by Ted Walsh, who saddled Papillon to glory in 2000 with Ruby Walsh piloting, came home third in the Matrix-esque renewal.
A winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019, plenty of Paddy’s pals think it’s time for Ted to rule Aintree once again. Phil Thompson thinks Walsh Senior is “due another” while Mick Fitz says “he has the speed to win and he’s been campaigned with this race in mind for the last two years”. Our main man Ruby might have some skin in the game but he’s confident ANY SECOND NOW “will stay the trip”.
BURROWS SAINT is also prominent in the betting and placed fourth in the virtual running. Paddy Power thinks Willie Mullins could be set to saddle a second winner in the race and Ruby is also hot on his chances. Matt Chapman also thinks BURROWS SAINT could “blitz this lot if returning to the form of his Irish National success in 2019”.
Could 2021 be the year we finally get a female jockey in the winner’s enclosure? Rachael Blackmore will ride MINELLA TIMES and our traders are facing their biggest Grand National headache in a decade because of punters piling in. The Henry de Bromhead-trained eight-year-old could only finish fifth in the Virtual Grand National, however. Darts queen Fallon Sherrock is “hoping Rachael hits the bullseye” at Aintree today.
Remember, Paddy is paying a whopping SIX places for today’s race and LORD DU MESNIL digitally squeaked home in sixth. The ground has been cited as unfavourable, however, and not one of Paddy’s pals has plumped for the nine-year-old.
2021 VIRTUAL GRAND NATIONAL RESULT
*You can watch the Virtual Grand National on ITV4 from 1pm. Paddy Power has been sponsoring ITV Racing’s excellent coverage since January 1.
Read More on the Grand National 2021
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