Races are cancelled around London till the end of April, but we still got to witness the Grand National yesterday, albeit, a computer-generated simulation, and we had a winner as Potters Corner, the 18-1 shot, crossed the finish line first. Tiger Roll, who was expected to finish 1st, came 5th.
The virtual race was like an actual one with bookmakers setting odds for the winner, though the profits would go to NHS charities. In the end, they were able to raise £2.6m. Making use of algorithms, the race was able to hold like in real life as the horses were not dependent on any immediate control. The use of this technology for the race is not recent as it has always been used to forecast the outcome of the real race every year since 2017.
Rob McLoughlin, the executive producer of Carm Productions, the company behind the production of the virtual race, stated how they have been making productions of forecast before the race these past years and the simulation has always managed to predict the real turnout of events. He stated how they had to produce it this time as the main event “to cheer the nation up”.
The simulation was brilliantly done with 40 horses taking to the track like they would have done in real life. Things were so lifelike, especially when Aso, the horse that was taking the lead, fell in the final lap. Ambulances followed within a safe distance of the riders as the cheers of the virtual spectators added more zest to the race.
4.8 million people tuned into the race, glad they had something to watch after all. Many races were cancelled with no virtual option. Though the Race of Champions was also staged virtually and Red Rum was the winner. Jockeys were also part of the spectators and took the conversation to social media.
Written by: Leon Osamor