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Essential racing books for Christmas

Do horses have souls or a ‘spirit’? When form expert Marten Julian was looking to buy a horse, he asked Declan Murphy to assess it. The former jockey watched it walk then studied its face closely before giving the thumbs-down. ‘That horse,’ he said, ‘has had its spirit broken.’ Murphy’s response led Marten to roam

Mr Spielberg, you cannot be serious

I wonder if Steven Spielberg is having second thoughts about Bridge of Spies in light of the attack on Paris? Spielberg’s latest film —released this week and tipped for Oscar glory — is an espionage thriller set at the height of the Cold War with no immediate relevance to the ‘war’ we find ourselves in

Spectator Sport

The Davis Cup will be one final flourish for Andy’s Barmy Army

There’s nothing quite like a sporting celebration, but the lash-up after Britain’s (almost) inevitable victory in the Davis Cup tennis final against Belgium this weekend should be unique. For a start, there will be hardly anyone there: just Judy Murray and Andy, with Jamie popping his head in: ‘Have some Irn-Bru boys, and, take another

Dear Mary


Mind your language

The rise of the man bun, the Mancan and man boobs

‘Ha, ha, ha,’ said my husband, as though he had learnt to laugh by reading Twitter. ‘Now they’ve got falsies.’ He was waving an article about clip-on man buns. A man bun is that top-knot that some young men began to sport, in proof that there is nothing too absurd for fashion. Now, it seems, false