YOU’VE heard of horse whisperers, now meet the Oxfordshire opera singer who has turned up the volume.

Professional performer-turned full-time racehorse trainer Heather Main says that by combining her two jobs she has found the secret to stabling champions.

The 48-year-old strolls around her yard at Kingston Lisle near Wantage singing beautiful Mozart arias, and says the horses literally dance behind their stable door.

She says they even sometimes join in a whinnying duet.

Mrs Main, originally from Alabama and is now married to equine vet James Main, said: “First, I’d like to stress that I’m not barmy.

“When I start singing, the horses lean out of their boxes and join in. They prick their ears, look up, and whinny. Some even dance.

“Mozart is their favourite, so I sing his arias to them.

“It’s proving to be a great way to get them relaxed, and boost their well-being before a race.”

Mrs Main said the yard’s leading soprano was three-year-old filly Island Cloud, adding: “She has a wonderful voice – a clear, high-pitched whinny, and she loves to dance.

“Al Kout is our top tenor. He’s an unraced three-year-old that cost us just £11,000 from John Gosden’s stable. He has lots of class, and a grand voice.”

Mrs Main, who trains racehorses for a variety of owners, broke her secret after landing a 440-1 treble with Childesplay (8-1) and Rake’s Progress (6-1) at Newbury, and Fair Selene (6-1) at Chepstow, followed up with Royal Melody (15-2) at Lingfield a few days later.

Equine psychologist Grahame Frank, dubbed the ‘horse mind doctor’, said: “I’ve never heard anything like this before, but it definitely can work.

“Horses will respond to many things in many ways.

“This lady has found a remarkable formula that’s doing well for her, and long may it last.

“Being relaxed like this is one thing, but the horse must still have the ability to do the job.”

Holding a trainer’s licence forced Mrs Main to abandon her busy stage career, which included solo performances at the Royal Albert Hall and The Barbican, but she still gives one-off performances.

Audiences have plunged from many thousands to a mere 16 at her tranquil Kingston Lisle stable.

Lucky Lambourn owner Andrew Knott bet his horse Childesplay each-way at odds of 150-1 on its first run, and picked up a packet when it finished second after Mrs Main’s musical methods.

It went on to win four times, and was retired to stud last week.

Mr Knott said: “Heather makes racing fun, and is a top trainer. Singing to the horses might sound crazy, but it works, and that’s all that matters.”

Once other owners became aware of Mrs Main entertaining the horses, they insisted she should do the same for them, and she’s responded by putting on a series of classical concerts in her Queen Anne mansion.

Unlike the horses, however, no owner is permitted to sing or dance.

Mrs Main will give a concert of Christmas songs in aid of The Injured Jockeys Fund at Lambourn parish church on December 6.