steal a march over (someone or something)

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steal a march over (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 over 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 over me when he managed to get tickets to see Courtney's favorite band.
See also: march, steal