Virtual Grand National supports Covid-19 Urgent Appeal

Posted by Cara Green
On 4th April 2020
Categories: 2020

This year’s Grand National has gone virtual due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and we’re delighted fans are being encouraged to donate what they would have wagered to our Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. This means profits raised will support NHS staff and volunteers who are working hard in the face of the virus with their health and emotional wellbeing. Read more about the My Stake for Their Sake campaign in the official press release below.

The Jockey Club has launched an unprecedented “My Stake For Their Sake” campaign, encouraging millions of Randox Health Grand National fans to donate what they would have wagered on this year’s race to help raise vital funds for the NHS.

In partnership with Inspired Entertainment and Carm Productions – the organisers of this Saturday’s Virtual Grand National – The Jockey Club initiative invites those who enjoy an annual flutter on the world’s greatest steeplechase to contribute their ‘stake’ to NHS Charities Together through Virgin Money Giving.

Those who donate can also encourage others to do the same by using the #MyStakeForTheirSake hashtag on all social media, highlighting the life-saving work carried out by staff and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together, said:

“We’re thrilled that The Jockey Club, Carm Productions and Inspired Entertainment have grouped together to support the NHS. We’re living in an unprecedented time where people coming together like this makes a huge difference. We’re so proud and in awe of NHS staff and volunteers as they work tirelessly to save lives and we want to ensure their wellbeing is paramount too. Let’s hope we can raise as many funds as possible to ensure we can support NHS staff and volunteers who are putting themselves on the line every day for us all.”

Announced last week, The 2020 Virtual Grand National will feature the 40 runners and riders who were most likely to line up in the Aintree spectacular.

Presenter Nick Luck will be joined by special guests for the ITV special, which will answer the key question in racing – could Tiger Roll have won the 2020 race and enter into the history books as the only horse to win three consecutive Grand Nationals?

Dickon White, Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses North West, said:

“We’re delighted to come together to help to raise crucial funds for the NHS by encouraging Randox Health Grand National fans to donate their usual bet to NHS Charities Together. Our amazing NHS staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to care for COVID-19 patients and we want to do our bit to show our gratitude and let them to know that racing is behind them. We’re obviously extremely disappointed to have to cancel the Randox Health Grand National this year, but we can all get behind this cause much the same as people get behind the National each year.”

As well as the ‘virtual’ 2020 race, Saturday’s half hour programme will also pit Aintree legend Red Rum and current champion Tiger Roll against each other in the Race of Champions. They will compete alongside 38 other champions including Many Clouds, Don’t Push It, Aldaniti and many more.

Steve Rogers of Inspired Entertainment, one of the world’s leaders in virtual sports and the company behind the animations and software, added:

“It’s brilliant to see the industry unite for a common cause at this difficult time for the country. My team have been working round the clock to make this year’s races as exciting and authentic as possible. We know viewers will enjoy the event, and feel good about the opportunity to assist essential charities.”

The TV concept was created by Broadcaster Rob McLoughlin of Carm Productions, a former Director of Granada Television who grew up in Maghull (the town alongside Aintree) where the first National was run in the 19th century.

Peter Eaton, a Partner in Carm Productions and an advisor to the TV special, who’s family won The Grand National with Amberleigh House in 2004 (trained by Ginger McCain) was also sponsor of the great race for three years said today:

“The Virtual Grand National has been a great success since we launched it in 2017 and is really meant for fun and entertainment, so to see these pre-recorded races now used for fund raising for such a good cause with the NHS is truly amazing, we even have the legend jockey AP giving his support, I hope everyone will also support this great cause and have some fun but of course be prudent!”

About the Covid-19 Urgent Appeal

The NHS Charities Together Urgent Appeal acknowledges and supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients. It has been put together in liaison with NHS England and national bodies, our member NHS charities and national giving platforms. Click here to donate.

Full runners and riders for the Virtual Grand National

1 Tiger Roll, Davy Russell, 11-10
2 Bristol De Mai, Daryl Jacob, 11-8
3 Aso, Charlie Deutsch, 11-2
4 Elegant Escape, Jonjo O’Neill jnr, 11-2
5 Anibale Fly, Barry Geraghty, 11-2
6 Top Ville Ben, Tom Dowson, 11-2
7 Beware The Bear, Jerry McGrath, 11-0
8 Peregrine Run, Kevin Sexton, 10-13
9 Jett, Sam Waley-Cohen, 10-13
10 Alpha Des Obeaux, Richard Johnson, 10-13
11 Total Recall, Paul Townend,10-13
12 The Storyteller, Keith Donoghue, 10-12
13 Magic Of Light, Robbie Power, 10-12
14 Talkischeap, Tom Cannon, 10-11
15 Yala Enki, Bryony Frost, 10-11
16 Ballyoptic, Sam Twiston-Davies, 10-11
17 Burrows Saint, Rachael Blackmore, 10-10
18 Definitly Red, Brian Hughes, 10-10
19 Sub Lieutenant, JJ Slevin, 10-9
20 Ok Corral, Derek O’Connor, 10-9
21 Tout Est Permis, Sean Flanagan, 10-9
22 Vintage Clouds, Danny Cook, 10-8
23 Crievehill, Tom Bellamy, 10-8
24 Lake View Lad, Henry Brooke, 10-8
25 Jury Duty, Mark Enright, 10-8
26 Pleasant Company, David Mullins, 10-7
27 Acapella Bourgeois, Danny Mullins, 10-6
28 Shattered Love, Lisa O’Neill, 10-6
29 Any Second Now, Mark Walsh, 10-6
30 Potters Corner, Jack Tudor, 10-6
31 Dounikos, Luke Dempsey, 10-5
32 Kildisart, Nico de Boinville, 10-5
33 Death Duty, Gavin Brouder, 10-5
34 Ramses De Teillee, Tom Scudamore, 10-5
35 Valtor, James Bowen, 10-4
36 Saint Xavier, David Maxwell, 10-4
37 Warriors Tale, Harry Cobden, 10-4
38 Double Shuffle, Jonathan Burke, 10-4
39 Kimberlite Candy, Richie McLernon, 10-4
40 Walk In The Mill, James Best, 10-4

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