Wales centre and part-owner of Virtual Grand National winner, Potters Corner, Jonathan Davies admitted the victory provided a bittersweet moment.
The international centre, who shares the 10-year-old with All Stars Sports Racing, had already enjoyed a memorable Welsh National win with Potters Corner at Christmas, adding to his Midlands National success of last term.
Trainer Christian Williams had long set his sights on the Aintree feature, but with the real race cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Potters Corner instead triumphed in a computer-generated substitute – leaving Davies somewhat conflicted in triumph.
He told TalkSPORT: “It is massively (bittersweet). When the race finished I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry to be honest. I am still hoping some virtual prize-money might come in at some point!
“It was interesting to see and I think with the situation everyone is in at the moment, everyone just enjoyed some virtual sport.
“I was in the living room watching with my fiancee. She was wincing when the horses were going down because I think she couldn’t quite grasp it was a computer.
🐎 His horse won the #VirtualGrandNational yesterday
🎂 Today the Wales centre celebrates his 32nd birthday
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) April 5, 2020
“I kind of got into it, but at the end I wished I was in the owner’s parade ring ready to go and celebrate properly.”
Over £2.6million was raised for NHS Charities Together, the umbrella organisation which represents over 140 NHS charities, through betting on the virtual race.
Davies added: “It was amazing to see how much money was raised for the NHS on Saturday. I would quite happily donate the virtual winnings to a good cause like that.”