An explosive turn of foot from Mutual Friendship turned Howard Cheng Yue-tin from villain to hero in the space of a few seconds when the seven-year-old defied a tight passage and some interference to nail a last-stride win in the Yan Chai Trophy (1,200m). At his first run for new trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai, Mutual Friendship found his best form to nail an exciting short-head win over Flying China. 'I thought we'd get beaten for sure at the 100m mark,' Cheng said. 'This horse really likes the dirt, however, and the fast pace helped him to come from behind. 'He jumped much better than usual and was able to settle on the rails midfield from gate one, but that almost cost us the race because we had to wait so long to get clear running.' Lui was surprised by the win and said he will continue to race his new stable acquisition on the artificial surface.