Victory for Red in Virtual Grand National could leave bookies feeling blue

FootballL fans supporting teams that play in red are battering the bookmakers with bets on the Virtual Grand National – with tenners galore already piling on 14/1 shot Definitly Red.

Bookies are giving any profits to the NHS Charities Together and the virtual race with a field of 40 is being screened on ITV tomorrow (Saturday) in a programme starting at 5pm.

With Liverpool’s romp to their first Premiership title on hold their supporters and even those of teams like Manchester United, Arsenal and Middlesbrough are backing trainer Brian Ellison’s 11-year-old chestnut gelding for victory.

In real-life Brian is absolutely heartbroken the real-life race is not going ahead as his 2017 10-1 second favourite Definitely Red was primed for a massive run in the World’s most famous steeplechase after winning his warm up the William Hill Premier Chase at Kelso by 14 length

Brian, 66, said: “It’s heart-breaking really, as this race had been the plan for the year and the horse is in such great form. He would have been going there with a real chance and would have just needed a little luck.

“The Virtual Grand National won’t be the same, but they haven’t been far wrong in the last three years, so it will be very, very interesting.

“The NHS has been fantastic and the whole yard were out clapping for them last week and they have been unbelievable in this crisis. Hopefully the bookmakers, will raise a lot of money for a very good cause.

“My first five would be Definitely Red winning with Alpha Des Obeaux second, last year’s 4th Walk In The Mill in third and Tiger Roll back in 4th with Burrows Saint back in 5th.”

Bookies are dreading the cry of ‘come on the Red’ if Definitly Red begins to romp home in front at the famous Elbow towards the end of the marathon four mile two-and-a-half furlong virtual reality steeplechase tomorrow.

Even Sunderland and Doncaster Rovers supporters have been backing Definitly Red and they play in red and white stripes, but it’s not just Premiership teams that are poised to batter the bookies as a total of 18 English league teams play in red along with four clubs in Scotland – Aberdeen, Hamilton, Brechin and Stirling.

With stats showing teams playing in Red have won more trophies in the UK than any other – the colour Red also has a great winning history in the world’s greatest steeplechase.

There was Red Rum’s remarkable third Grand National win in 1977, as well as his wins in 1973 and 1974 – two other horses with Red in their name have won the great race. In 1966 Red Alligator at 100/7 won and in 2001 Red Marauder won at 33/1.

William Hill ambassador Sir AP McCoy is supporting Irish Grand National winner Burrows Saint in the ITV race and if winning the jockey Rachael Blackmore could become the first virtual female to land the big race, which has been run in cyberspace since 2017. 

At Midday Friday, William Hill had taken over 27,000 individual bets on the Virtual Grand National with the maximum stake on any horse either a £10 win win or £10 each-way.

Definitly Red, Tiger Roll and Beware the Bear were their three most popular horses and the least popular three are Tout est Permis, Dounikos and Valtor.

At the odds presently 33/1 shot Beware The Bear is the worst result in the William Hill book.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: “We could not be happier with the figures and with the vast majority of wagers expected tomorrow, we could be in for a very busy day

‘’Beware the Bear is a nice name and is our worse result at present, but Definitly Red as far as we can tell has a real swell of support from football fans.”

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