03/28/2015 1:53PM

Dolniya defeats males in Dubai Sheema Classic

Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins
Dolniya, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, wins the Dubai Sheema Classic by 2 1/4 lengths Saturday.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Treve is not the only elite filly in France.

Dolniya, getting a dream trip under Christophe Soumillon, who scored a seven-figure-stakes double Saturday night, led a one-two French finish in the Group 1, $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over Flintshire in a powerful performance.

The Japanese horse One and Only ran third, Designs On Rome fourth, and the American invader Main Sequence a meek seventh. Main Sequence broke poorly, which has happened before, and then got in a trap around the far turn, running up to press the pace while wide and uncovered around the far turn, then running flat in the stretch. An American-based grass horse still has never won a Group 1 turf stakes in Dubai.

“A little disappointed,” said jockey Rajiv Maragh. “He put me in a good position, and I liked where I was, but he just went even today.”

Main Sequence might have finished evenly, but Dolniya did not. Soumillon said he let his filly run out of the gate, fearing that there would be no speed and that he might need to lead, but Just The Judge took up the running and actually set a faster-than-par pace, according to Trakus, leaving Soumillon in an ideal spot, just behind Just The Judge and tucked in along the rail.

There the pair stayed until a little less than a quarter-mile was left to race, and then Soumillon made his move, guiding Dolniya off the fence and outside of Just The Judge, where she powered to the front and had little trouble finishing off Flintshire, whom she had also beaten March 3 in a prep race over the all-weather track at Chantilly.

Dolniya, an Aga Khan homedbred by Azamour, was timed in 2:28.29 for 2,410 meters, about 1 1/2 miles, on a good course. She won for the fifth time in eight starts and looks like an improved horse this year who might not have hit her ceiling. Winning trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said Thursday that Dolniya had matured this winter, physically, yes, but more so mentally.

Unraced at 2, Dolniya raced six times last year, improving with every start and ending her season with a fifth-place finish in the Arc. Soumillon said slow-paced French races don’t suit the filly as well as the way the Sheema Classic was run, but if Dolniya has really progressed from her encouraging form, Treve had better look out.