Everything you need to know about this year's virtual Grand National, and how to watch it on ITV

This year, the Grand National has been cancelled for the first time in its 181-year history due to the Coronavirus.

But all is not list for horse racing fans, who will still be able to cheer on the 40-horse field in the virtual race.

That's because this year, a virtual Grand National will be run, with all profits from bets going to the NHS at a time when the health service is need the most; the event is expected to raise £1 million to support NHS charities.

What is a virtual Grand National?

Though this might be the first time you've ever heard of a virtual Grand National, it's not the first time one has been run.

A virtual edition of the famous horse race takes place every year, in fact; in 2018 the computer correctly predicted Tiger Roll to win and got three of the top five finishers correct.

The race will be simulated based on the form and other factors affecting a real race, with 40 virtual runners and riders taking place.

The key difference this year is that the virtual race will be televised, with ITV showing it in place of their normal live coverage from Aintree.

Aside from a virtual representation of this year's race, there will also be a special race of champions, where the winners from history will meet.

When is the virtual Grand National?

ITV will be showing the virtual Grand National on ITV1 and the ITV hub for all to watch on Saturday 4 April.

The CGI version of the race will see the 40 virtual runners and riders will take to the course shortly after 5pm.

A spokesperson said: “The Virtual Grand National is set to be a great television event and huge credit must go to the organisers for putting on the nation's favourite race at a time when sports fans are starved of live action."

Can I bet?

Yes - the race will be simulated based on the form and other factors affecting a real race, so seasoned punters who have been studying up all season can still get involved.

Those looking to have their traditional once-a-year flutter will also be able to make their picks based on the usual criteria of names and colours, as they would in a normal race, with odds reflecting the real-life chances of the runners and riders.

A number of bookmakers will have odds on their websites ahead of the race and Tiger Roll is expected to lead the market.

£10 is the maximum state available and bookmakers are making profits available to the NHS Charities Group.

Who are the runners?

Here are all 40 runners in this year's virtual Grand National, alongside their current odds:

1 Tiger Roll, 5-1

2 Bristol De Mai, 20-1

3 Aso, 66-1

4 Elegant Escape, 20-1

5 Anibale Fly, 20-1

6 Top Ville Ben, 45-1

7 Beware The Bear, 33-1

8 Peregrine Run, 66-1

9 Jett, 50-1

10 Alpha Des Obeaux, 25-1

11 Total Recall, 40-1

12 The Storyteller, 40-1

13 Magic Of Light, 18-1

14 Talkischeap, 25-1

15 Yala Enki, 28-1

16 Ballyoptic, 25-1

17 Burrows Saint, 12-1

18 Definitly Red, 14-1

19 Sub Lieutenant, 33-1

20 Ok Corral, 25-1

21 Tout Est Permis, 80-1

22 Vintage Clouds, 33-1

23 Crievehill, 66-1

24 Lake View Lad, 50-1

25 Jury Duty, 40-1

26 Pleasant Company, 28-1

27 Acapella Bourgeois, 33-1

28 Shattered Love, 66-1

29 Any Second Now, 10-1

30 Potters Corner, 18-1

31 Dounikos, 50-1

32 Kildisart, 50-1

33 Death Duty, 50-1

34 Ramses De Teillee, 66-1

35 Valtor, 66-1

36 Saint Xavier, 66-1

37 Warriors Tale, 80-1

38 Double Shuffle, 100-1

39 Kimberlite Candy, 16-1

40 Walk In The Mill, 16-1