About Jack Holt

Jack Holt's dream lives on through his enduring gift

Medical research and racehorse training are poles apart. However the successes of the late John Holt, one of Australia’s greatest trainers, led to the establishment of the internationally recognised St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.

John ‘Jack’ Holt, the famous Melbourne racehorse trainer known as ‘the Wizard of Mordialloc’, was also one of the great philanthropists of his time. Jack’s acts of generosity were made in a quiet and unassuming manner.

After a short career as a jockey, Jack Holt became a trainer in 1902. From 1918, he dominated Victoria's training ranks, winning the Trainers' Premiership 13 times, and training winners in a Melbourne Cup, two Caulfield Cups, six W.S. Cox Plates and a VRC Derby.

When Jack died in 1951, he left a bequest of £200,000 (an enormous sum in those days) to establish a school of medical research at St Vincent’s. St Vincent’s School of Medical Research officially opened on 23 April 1958. In 1984 it was renamed St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.

In the more than 50 years since that time, discoveries from SVI have advanced treatments, offering hope to sufferers of diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Our scientists and researchers are considered amongst the world’s best. They come to work each day striving to give hope to more people suffering disease.

Jack is remembered as a very generous and gentle man, passionate about medical research.

The Jack Holt Society has been established to honour the generosity of those individuals who have pledged a gift in their Will for the purpose of the ongoing medical research at St Vincent’s Institute.

Medical Research is vital for a healthy future for all of us. A gift in your will is a lasting gift that will enable your support to live on.

For a confidential discussion or further information about the Bequest Society, please contact the SVI Foundation on (03) 9231 2480.