We hope not to be accused of leaving the barrier prematurely, but we think that it is never too soon to begin planning for the 2016 Melbourne Cup.

Here are some important dates of which to be aware for the first Tuesday of November 2016.

Nominations open on Tuesday, August 30, 63 days before the race. The late nominations date has been set as Tuesday, September 6, which marks 56 days remaining. First declaration is Tuesday, October 4, 28 days prior. Second declaration date is Monday, October 24, eight days prior.

The final field will be announced Saturday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m., followed 30 minutes later by the barrier draw.

Finally, the race will be run Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at 3 p.m. as the seventh race of the meeting.

At the moment, 27 to 62 thoroughbreds are considered as potential runners. The favourites for wagering as of now are Albert and Order of St. George at $15, followed by Amralah, Max Dynamite, Signoff and Tarzino at $17.00.

Four follow at $21.00: Curren Mirotic, Our Ivanhowe, The United States and Winx.

The quotes are going to change of course, and until there is a final field, quotes serve only as the vaguest of guidelines, as last year’s Cup winner Prince of Penzance proved indisputably.