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How to watch the Virtual Grand National: live stream the big race right now

watch Virtual Grand National live 2020
(Image credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The Grand National won't be stopped, and you're in the right place to make sure you watch every minute of the 2020 race. The most prestigious event on the UK horse racing calendar is set to go ahead today in spite of the coronavirus pandemic - albeit only in virtual form. Our guide explains how to live stream the Virtual Grand National 2020 online or watch it on TV no matter where you are in the world.

Since 2017, a simulated virtual race has been scheduled to run alongside the real-life contest and this year is no different - not even Covid-19 can cancel a digital steeplechase!

Virtual Grand National cheat sheet

The Grand National is the biggest British National Hunt race, but this year, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, it will only be shown in virtual form. Coverage starts at 5pm BST on ITV on Saturday, April 3 with the race set to get underway at 5.15pm - that's 12.15pm ET, 9.15am PT, and 2.15am AEST early Sunday morning in Australia.

In last year's Virtual Grand National, Rathvinden triumphed, while eventual 2019 winner Tiger Roll came in second. The CGI-powered race was right on the money in 2018, though, when the Michael O'Leary-owned horse won both races in nearly identical circumstances.

And while Tiger Roll won't get a chance to seal a historic third consecutive Grand National this year - a feat not even Red Rum managed - he is the bookies favourite in the virtual race at 5/1. Any Second Now is also highly fancied with odds of 10/1, as are Burrows Saint (12/1) and Definitely Red (14/1). Still, with a 40-strong field of runners as usual, it's safe to say that the Virtual Grand National stands to be every bit as unpredictable as the real thing.

Those looking to put their annual fiver on the line and bet on the Virtual Grand National 2020 should know that all profits from this year's event are being donated to NHS Charities Together - and as a result bookmakers are limiting bets to £10, either to win or each-way. 

In addition to the main race, ITV's coverage - which is led by Nick Luck and features Alice Plunkett and Richard Pitman - will also include a special race of champions pitting some of the greatest National winners of all-time against each other. Now, let's look at how to watch the Virtual Grand National this weekend.

How to watch the Virtual Grand National: free UK stream

If you’re in the UK and you have a TV license, then ITV will be broadcasting the Grand National free-to-air starting at 5.15pm, with Ed Chamberlain as its presenter.  

If you prefer to watch the event on your computer you can stream it on ITV or on your mobile devices via the ITV player app.  

The other way to watch ITV online is to go via - we actually prefer this option as the stream tends to be better quality and more robust! It's also a faster site, more responsive and with all the Freeview channels in one place. It's still free, too.

Watch the Virtual Grand National online from outside your country in 2020

This scenario is less likely than it used to be, for sure, but if you do happen to be away from the UK for whatever reason, don’t worry. You can still tune in to ITV's coverage of the 2020 Virtual Grand National live from anywhere in the world.  

The secret is to download and install a VPN , which will let you change your IP address to one in the UK and head over to ITV’s website or a streaming site like Here's how to watch a Virtual Grand National live stream using a VPN in three simple steps.

1. Download and install a VPN
Of the hundreds of available VPNs, our favorite is ExpressVPN. It's quick to connect to servers, straightforward to use and secure. It's compatible with Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, the Xbox, PlayStation, iOS and Android software, and many other devices.

What makes ExpressVPN particularly enticing is its flexible 30-day money back guarantee. Even better, if you sign up for an annual plan you'll get a 49% discount and 3 months extra FREE - a brilliant deal on an essential bit of kit.

Once downloaded, search for the location of your home country or select it from the pre-defined list. Click connect, grab the popcorn and get ready to watch all the drama unfold.

2. Connect to the appropriate server location
Simply open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location - it's super easy to do. Choose UK to stream the Grand National on ITV (use the links below).

3. Go to
The service is free and the best legal way to stream all of the action at this year's Grand National live. If you're on the go and prefer to watch the races from a mobile device you can also tune in via the ITV player app

Virtual Grand National odds 2020 - runners and latest betting tips

As we've said, Tiger Roll is the current favourite to win the Virtual Grand National at 5/1.  Victory on a computer screen would be scant consolation for such a legendary horse, though - one who has been denied his chance at a record third consecutive Grand National victory. Times are more than complicated at the moment, but you have to feel for the 10-year-old Irish Thoroughbred and his trainer, Gordon Elliott. 

Any Second Now is also heavily fancied and looks decent value for an each-way bet at 10/1.

There's a full list of Virtual Grand National odds below to help you spend your £10 wisely in 2020, with each of the below bookies taking bets online:

Please gamble responsibly. For help, support and advice about problem gambling contact the National Gambling Helpline free on 0808 8020 133 or via the Live Chat.

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