By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: Apprentice jockeys and identical twins Lenny and Learie Seecharan are affectionately referred to in the backstretch at Hastings as the ‘Sea Urchins’.
The well-liked Trinidadians accept the clever play on words as a form of endearment and continue to go about their riding assignments in an upbeat fashion. Heading into the weekend, Lenny was just two wins shy of his 12 visits to the winner’s circle last year while Learie has five, one better than his overall 2018 performance.
“My brother and me are getting a chance to ride with good jockeys who are always willing to teach us and explain our mistakes,” Lenny says. “They take us aside to explain what we might be doing wrong. It is really a nice experience for us young riders.”
Lenny has competed with ‘the big boys’ in two $50,000 stake races this year, finishing fifth in the Ross McLeod and seventh in the Jim Coleman Province.
Approaching their 23rd birthdays, the ‘Sea Urchins’ made their professional riding debuts as 19-year-olds at Santa Rosa Park in Trinidad in 2015. They played soccer and cricket growing up in the Caribbean as they watched their father make a modest living as a jockey.
Lenny worked his way to Hastings Racecourse in 2017 and talked Learie into joining him the following year.
They didn’t quite grasp what all the commotion was about on BC Derby/Oaks Day last season when a couple of guys named Henrik and Daniel Sedin appeared as guest decorators, creating a colossal buzz throughout the grandstands.
When Hastings manager of security Ran Gosal greeted the most famous identical twin brother act in NHL history in the parking lot upon their arrival, Henrik asked: “Are the twins riding today?”
The Sedins were aware of the Seecharans but the Seecharans didn’t identify with the Sedins.