Inspired aims for winning prediction with Virtual Grand National

Inspired aims for winning prediction with Virtual Grand National

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 Posted by Craig Davies
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ITV4 to broadcast event once again

Aintree’s flagship race is to receive the virtual treatment once again this year, with Inspired Entertainment confirming its duo of offerings are to be broadcast for another year courtesy of ITV4.

Both the Virtual Grand National, which will see this year's runners compete, as well as the Race of Champions, which pits all-time greats against each other, are to feature the day before the four and a quarter mile feature on Friday April 13, with highlights appearing the next day.

Ahead of the broadcast Steve Rogers, chief commercial officer of Digital Games at Inspired Entertainment, has been telling what viewers can expect, and the confidence that these offering can emulate the live event.

Totally Gaming: What can viewers expect from the showings which are to be broadcast on ITV4?

Steve Rogers: Viewers can expect to see a fascinating spin on the big race as well as the first broadcast of the race that never was, The Race of Champions. Inspired have recreated the Aintree course in fine detail within a virtual world and will run the 2018 runners and riders and the greatest 40 horses from yesteryear over the famous fences in a TV first.

Nick Luck is back again to present the action, and will be joined renowned racing commentator Steve Machin.

In addition to the running of the Virtual Grand National, there will be interviews with current and former jockeys and racing experts, as well as an in depth behind the scenes look at what goes into creating the simulation and determining the outcome.

TG: How have you ensured that this year’s offering will build upon last year?

SR: This year’s show is double the length at 1-hour long and will also include the first ever running of the Race of Champions in which 40 previous Grand National winners will compete to see who is the best of the best. It’ll be both a fascinating and nostalgic spectacle, pitting historic greats such as Red Rum and Crisp against more recent winners including 2017’s One For Arthur.

This year’s races have been created in Ultra High Definition so the simulations will look better than ever.

TG: How confident are you that your Virtual Grand National could somewhat emulate its live counterpart?

SR: We’re as confident as anybody can realistically be when predicting a race as unpredictable as the Grand National. The sheer lottery of it is in many ways what makes it unique, but we’re going to give it our best shot!

We’ve taken guidance from the likes of 20 times champion jockey Sir AP McCoy, current jockey Katie Walsh and heard from experts such as Bob Champion, Richard Pitman, Lydia Hislop to name a few. We’re also considering form, conditions and numerous other factors to make sure our simulation is as accurate as possible.

We were incredibly close last year, correctly predicting 3 out of the top 6 places and the exact number of finishers. Not only that, our Virtual Grand National Winner Cause of Causes ended up finishing a close second behind One for Arthur in the main race! Hopefully this year we can go one better and get the winner!

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