Twelve greyhounds remain in the 2021 Star Sports & TRC Greyhound Derby, but only six can make it through to the final of the blue riband event at Towcester. There will be two fascinating semi-finals lighting up the action on Saturday evening, and the well-fancied duo of reigning champion Deejet Sydney and his kennelmate Knocknaboul Syd have managed to avoid each other in the draw for the semis, and both will fancy securing their spot in the final on July 10.

Here, at Ukdogracing.net, we look at the two semi-finals in depth and pick out the six dogs that will qualify for the final a week on Saturday.

Semi-Final 1

Unbeaten in the competition, 2020 Derby hero Deerjet Sydney has been the star of this year's event, and he heads into Saturday's first semi-final as a red-hot odds-on favourite, and if he can replicate his performances from this year's event then he should be away and gone.

Sensational at the lids, Deerjet Sydney can show his customary early speed from trap one, and heading into the first bend he should already be in front of his five rivals, and from that point on he should serenely cruise to victory, and duly book his place in the final.

While, Pat Buckley's star should have no issues qualifying, the other two qualification spots will be fiercely fought out by the remaining quintet and it's Ballymac Fairone and Ballymac Wild that are second and third favourites, but they won't have an easy task. Both have shown that they can do their best work in the closing stages of te 500m event, but neither will be able to live with the finishing speed of Beach Avenue.

Paul Hennessy's greyhound produced a mind-blowing late surge to grab a qualification spot in his quarter-final last weekend, and while he won't be involved in the early proceedings, he will be worth watching out the back, and he could show a little bit more late toe than the Ballymac duo and can grab a top-three spot.

Toolmaker Sydney and Cold As Ice complete the line-up, and it's the former that can be the other qualifier, if he can recapture his early rounds performances, where he showed great early pace to hold a prominent position. He beat Knocknaboul Syd in the first round in a shock victory, and a repeat of that effort should be enough to etch his name in the final.

Prediction: 1st Deerjet Sydney (1), 2nd Toolmaker Sydney (3), 3rd Beach Avenue (6)

Semi-Final 2

We could have a similar scenario to the first semi-final, as Knocknaboul Syd, who is a short-priced odds-on favourite for the second eliminator, should be too classy for his rivals, and if he can produce another smash break - like he has in the last few rounds - then he can kick clear around the first bend and lead home his rivals impressively.

But, it's extremely wide open for the other two qualification spots with Gaytime Milo and Bockos Belly clashing for the second week on the bounce. The former was victorious in the quarter-final, but Patrick Janssens's Bockos Belly could well turn that around if replicating his track record breaking run from earlier in the competition.

Sole wide runner Thorn Falcon is the second shot first from the Janssens gun, and he produced one of the performances of the quarter finals last weekend, and if he can show tremendous early pace again then he could well chase Knocknaboul Syd into the back straight, and the strong-running dog can maintain second spot.

Third in every round so far, Kilara Lion will add more depth to the Janssens team, but he looks to face an uphill task here and can be ignored. Newinn Session completes the line-up, and having started the competition as one of the favourites for the event, the Irish raider has failed to show his best. However, he continues to qualify, and if he could well find his trapping boots then he could be a figure, and it could be worth taking a chance on him grabbing the final spot.

Prediction: 1st Knocknaboul Syd (4), 2nd Thorn Falcon (6), 3rd Newinn Session (1)