Can I bet on virtual horse racing?

Perhaps the best known virtual horse race is the Virtual Grand National, which was first introduced in 2017, but took centre stage in 2020 after the real-life Grand National was called off due to the coronavirus. Like all virtual horse races, the Virtual Grand National is a computer simulation; computer-generated imagery (CGI) is employed to create a faithful rendition of racecourse, runners and riders and the result is determined by a sophisticated, step-by-step list of rules, technically known as an algorithm.

As in a real-world race, the odds offered on each horse are inversely proportional to its theoretical chance of winning, but the outcome is determined by a regulated random number generator (RNG). As the name suggests, a RNG is designed to generate a sequence of numbers without any discernible pattern but, in a virtual horse race, the favourite has a higher ‘weighting’ in the RNG – and, therefore, more chance of winning – than the second favourite and so on throughout the field.

The Virtual Grand National may be the best known virtual horse race, but virtual horse racing is everyday occurrence with bookmakers, on the High Street and online, in Britain. In fact, virtual horse races, Flat or Jumps, typically take place every few minutes, with win, each-way, forecast and tricast betting available.

Can I be successful using free horse racing tips?

Many reputable websites, including, but by no means limited to, At The Races, Racing Post, Sporting Life and Timeform, publish free horse racing tips. Obviously, as with any horse racing tips, there is no guarantee of success, but, provided you choose an established tipster, with a proven track record, there is no reason why free horse racing tips cannot win you money in the long term.

Some, but not all, free horse racing tipsters operate a ‘points’ system, whereby they suggest the number of points you should bet on each selection. Each point represents whatever monetary value you decide, based on how much money you can afford to set aside for your betting bank. For example, Hugh Taylor, lead tipster at At The Races, advises between one and five points, win or each-way, on each selection. Indeed, Taylor has enjoyed plenty of success, with profits in excess of 100 points for eleven consecutive seasons.

Aside from his ability to find value selections, Taylor also provides a complete, ‘warts and all’ record of all his selections – a distinguishing feature of any horse racing tipster worth his salt – so you can determine, fairly quickly, if his service is likely to suit you. Of course, Taylor is not the only free horse racing tipster – in fact, far from it – but, whoever you choose, it is worth making sure that they match your expectations, in terms of average odds, bet frequency, strike rate and so on.