ride on someone's/something's coat-tails
ride on (one's) coattails
To benefit from someone else's success; to use someone else's success as a means to achieve one's own. Everyone knows you've been riding on the governor's coattails for the last two years, but once her term ends you'll be on your own. Jonathan rode on the famous professor's coattails to get some recognition for his own work from several esteemed academic journals.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
ride on someone's/something's coat-tailsor
ride someone's/something's coat-tails
If someone or something rides on someone or something else's coat-tails, they use that person or thing's success to get success for themselves. Note: `Coat-tails' is usually written as `coattails' in American English. Frank did all the work and I rode on his coat-tails. Essentially, we're riding the coattails of the big companies to get new customers. Note: Coat-tails is used in many other structures connected with getting an advantage from someone or something else. The Canadian dollar rode the coattails of the U.S. dollar yesterday. They had come to power on the coat-tails of a popular general whose views on public questions they then ignored.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012