SCOTTISH Grand National organisers have said they have had “no intelligence whatsoever” about any protests being planned at the event by animal rights activists.

The showpiece race, one of the highlights of the Scottish horseracing calendar, is set to take place at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday at 3.35pm.

Last week, more than 100 animal rights activists were arrested at Aintree before the Grand National.

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Campaign group Animal Rising said scores of activists climbed fences, with at least two fixing themselves to a jump using glue and lock-on devices.

The protesters breached security fences as National runners were in the parade ring, causing a delay of 12 minutes, although racegoers helped police and event organisers to stop some from reaching the track.

Race organisers in Scotland say they are confident they will not see such scenes at Ayr this weekend, and police confirmed a plan is in place.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday, Jim Delahunt from Ayr Racecourse said: “We are confident because we have taken great precautions on the build-up to this race. We have been liaising with Police Scotland.

“The thing about the Aintree protest last week was, it may have come as a surprise to people watching on television, but in the racing industry it had been flagged up for 10 days.

“We have had no intelligence whatsoever about any protest that is planned for Ayr over the course of this weekend.

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“The police presence will be increased over the next couple of days, particularly (on Saturday) when we do host this £200,000 showpiece at 3.35pm.

“So we are as confident as we can be. If there was going to be a protest, we may have heard a whisper.

“We could be surprised, we are not being complacent but we haven’t heard of any intelligence whatsoever at the moment.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “As with any large event, we are engaging with the organisers and an appropriate policing plan is in place.”

The Scottish Grand National was inaugurated in Ayrshire in 1867 and has taken place at Ayr since 1966.