steal a march upon (someone or something)

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steal a march upon (someone or something)

To gain an unexpected or surreptitious advantage over someone or something, as by accomplishing something before, or better than, someone else. The retail business managed to steal a march upon its competitors by signing an exclusive export agreement with Europe. John and I were both trying to win Courtney's heart, but he stole a march upon me when he managed to get tickets to see Courtney's favorite band.
See also: march, steal, upon
References in classic literature ?
Furthermore I say--and lay my saying to your heart--do not tell people when you are bringing your ship to Ithaca, but steal a march upon them, for after all this there is no trusting women.