We have reached the business end of the 2021 Star Sports & TRC Greyhound Derby, and the quarter-finals are set to light up Towcester on Saturday night, as the remaining 23 dogs look to grab an all-important top three spot in their qualifier to book their place in the semi-finals on Saturday week.

Reigning champion Deerjet Sydney is heading the latest ante-post betting, but that speedy performer will face a whole plethora of four-bend class acts in the remainder of the competition with the likes of Knocknaboul Syd and Signet Ace both sitting prominently in the betting, and looking major players.

On to Saturday's four quarter-finals, and we take a look at each eliminator and pick out the three to qualify for the semis on July 3.

Quarter Final 1

Installed as an odds-on favourite for the first quarter-final, the 2020 Greyhound Derby hero Deerjet Sydney appears to have a relatively comfortable path to the semi-finals, and if Pat Buckley's raider can show his customary early pace and class then he should have too much for his rivals.

He will have some potential speed to deal with on his inside with Toolmaker Sydney and Forest Gold both capable of a ping break, but whether they have the toe to live with Buckley's star through the first half of the race is very much in the air, and Deerjet Sydney should maintain his unbeaten record.

If there is to be some scrimmaging through the first quarter of the race then the Jimmy Fenwick-trained Cold As Ice could make his way through the field in the second half to book his spot in the draw for the semi-finals.

Prediction: 1st Deerjet Sydney (3), 2nd Toolmaker Sydney (2), 3rd Cold As Ice (5)

Quarter Final 2

Five line up for the second quarter-final and it looks a really trappy betting heat for punters. Graham Holland's Newinn Session has failed to light up the competition yet, but has managed to make it through the quarters and has shown earlier in his career that on his day he's a real class act, so he has to be respected.

The fast-finishing Unlock Unlock continues to excel in the final parts of the race and is a classy bitch that will be hard to keep out of the frame, but it's Bockos Belly that can claim the win here. Having broke the track record in round two, Patrick Janssens' performer failed to follow up when second in the last round, but if he can hit the lids like he did in the second round then he should be away and gone.

He will have kennelmate Aussie Captain on his inside to deal with at the first bend, but he should just have a bit too much pace for that rival, and once on the bunny will be tough to catch.

Prediction: 1st Bockos Belly (3), 2nd Newinn Session (1), 3rd Unlock Unlock (6)

Quarter Final 3

The third quarter-final is arguably the toughest to call with all six greyhounds looking potential challengers for glory. Liam Dowling's Ballymac Fairone has won his last two races and he should be able to have too much pace from trap one for Kilara Lion on his outside, and he should hold a prominent position.

However, the one that is worth following is the other Irish contender in All About Ted, who can strike gold for Peter Cronin. An impressive winner in the third round, Cronin's contender will have his work cut out to outspeed Bubbly Magnum on his inside, but he's shown tremendous speed at times on his way into the first bend, and he could well just jostle his way to the front as they head into the back straight.

Bubbly Magnum could well hold his position in the second, and coming off the back the one to watch could be Thorn Falcon, who from trap six, could be doing all his best work at the finish, and it's hard to not see him qualify in what is a fascinating contest.

Prediction: 1st All About Ted (5), 2nd Thorn Falcon (6), 3rd Bubbly Magnum (3)

Quarter Final 4

Some real fancied greyhounds will lock horns in the fourth and final quarter final and it's the abovementioned Knocknaboul Syd that will likely go off favourite. Hugely impressive en route to his win in the last round, Pat Buckley's class act will be certainly on the vicinity at the finish.

But, the value lies on the outside and Paul Hennessy's Beach Avenue, who continues to improve as the event goes on, and the strong running dog could capitalise from early race scrimmaging, and stay on to grab the win. Second in all three rounds so far, Beach Avenue has been hugely consistent, but with Knockaboul Syd likely to come into close contact with Signet Ace from trap one at the first bend, that pair could hinder each others chances.

That duo should have enough class to deal with the trouble and still qualify, as the fast finishing De Machine may just be out of his depth, while the impressive Adeles Duke may just struggle to hold a prominent position through the first half of the race, even if she breaks well, while Ballymac Wild could prove to be the meat in the sandwich between Signet Ace and Knocknaboul Syd at the first bend.

So, while Knocknaboul Syd and Signet Ace are the two market leaders for the race, it's Beach Avenue that can strike his claim for Greyhound Derby glory, and he can bound to victory here.

Prediction: 1st Beach Avenue (6), 2nd Knocknaboul Syd (4), 3rd Signet Ace (1)

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