Can 2 Horses Share the Same Name?

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I wanted to use the past_runs from the runners_insights table and I noticed it didn't match something else I had done myself. I realised it's because I had used name rather than the runner_id and I was wondering if 2 horses could have the same name?  When I map the daily stuff to Betfair I clean up the runner name and use that because I thought they were all unique.

The horse in question was Bowman, there are 2 different runner_ids for this horse: 233409 and 2757376.
asked Jan 10 by DataScientist Handicapper (840 points)

1 Answer

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Yes, names can be the same if they are from different racing jurisdictions and / or the name is from a dead horse and is recycled for one born thereafter.  In this case, the full details from the database are:

select meeting_date, bred, course, race_id, runner_id from historic_races join historic_runners using (race_id) where name="Bowman";

+--------------+------+------------+---------+-----------+

| meeting_date | bred | course     | race_id | runner_id |

+--------------+------+------------+---------+-----------+

| 2003-06-27   | USA  | Goodwood   |   20026 |    233409 |

| 2003-08-14   | USA  | Salisbury  |   24948 |    233409 |

| 2020-06-05   | IRE  | Lingfield  |  939766 |   2757376 |

| 2020-06-15   | IRE  | Pontefract |  941427 |   2757376 |

| 2020-06-27   | IRE  | Redcar     |  944454 |   2757376 |

| 2020-07-12   | IRE  | Lingfield  |  947905 |   2757376 |

| 2020-07-18   | IRE  | Newbury    |  949603 |   2757376 |

| 2020-08-16   | IRE  | Ripon      |  956764 |   2757376 |

| 2020-09-13   | IRE  | Curragh    |  964464 |   2757376 |

| 2020-10-03   | IRE  | Redcar     |  969717 |   2757376 |

+--------------+------+------------+---------+-----------+

The key is that the first Bowman was bred in the US whereas the second Bowman appearing 17 years later was bred in Ireland.

There are rarely some glitches with differently runner_ids for the same horse but this isn't one of them.
answered Jan 10 by coltest Handicapper (1,580 points)
selected Jan 11 by DataScientist
Thanks, I've always used the runner_id but used the name this time.
You can effectively synthesise a unique runner id by combining name and/or a combination of country of breeding and sire name / id.
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