Sprinter Sacre still the one to beat after Arkle field is cut to 14

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RED-HOT Racing Post Arkle favourite Sprinter Sacre, pictured, will have no more than 14 rivals after Cheltenham published the latest scratching stage for the Festival novice races.

Last year’s Champion Hurdle runner-up Peddlers Cross, who was dismissed by Sprinter Sacre at Kempton over Christmas, heads the opposition along with Al Ferof, Cue Card, Menorah and Bog Warrior. Sanctuaire, who had not been committed for the race by trainer Paul Nicholls, was the lowest-priced horse of the 12 to be withdrawn.